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Discussion > Soon, Baliunus, de Freitas, Etal

This thread is intended to be a continuation of a discussion from the Evidence, confidence and uncertainties thread. The starting point is some of the emails that appear to show the team discussing what to do about the publication of the Soon and Baliunus paper. Here are comments from the earlier thread that perhaps represent the main arguments. Apologies for dropping the formatting:

From Gixxerboy @ Dec 6, 2011 at 10:51 PM:

Okay, let's say S&B are 'contrarians' - maybe even funded by 'big oil'. What they did was accumulate evidence for the MWP (and LIA):
a) having existed
b) being widespread
c) showing reasonable synchronicity and duration
d) exhibiting a significant anomaly (~C20th levels)

This was a meta study - they did not undertake any original research - drawing on the findings of 152 published proxy studies from the Arctic to Antarctica. It included work by Mann, Overpeck, Briffa and plenty more Team members.

Now, I have a serious problem with the whole area of paleo proxies for temperature. Everything I have read looks like a smiling triumph of hope over uncertainty. (Including that bloody useless sphagnum study you and I briefly discussed. There was no evidence for your saying we should trust the author's caveat that it probably overstated the MWP. It could equally have understated it according to his concern over the magnitude of signal - he was clearly keeping his academic nose clean.)

Anyway, let's put all that aside for a moment and assume that proxies can be found for paleoclimate. And of course some are better than others.

S&B draw upon 152 studies. Sure, some of them are not as good as others. But across them the pattern of a MWP and LIA is obvious. You quote HvS criticising the lack of a methodological basis for the conclusions. He's perfectly correct. S&B do not provide a 'methodology' for arriving at their conclusion.

However. You'd need to be as one-eyed as a Cantabrian not to admit their paper shows evidence for a MWP and LIA. It's as plain as the nose on your face.

They lacked a clear methodology and their assertions of relativity to C20 are unsubstantiated. But they almost certainly reached a correct conclusion overall:

"[C]onsidered as an ensemble of individual expert opinions, the assemblage of local representations of climate establishes both the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period as climatic anomalies with worldwide imprints"

Now, witness the opprobrium heaped on Soon's and Baliunas's heads. The reason why is obvious. It undermines the meme that the climate catastrophists have been trying to establish: that the MWP didn't exist. Or it was confined to Europe. Or the northern hemisphere. Or it was unremarkable. Or anything, really, so long as they could engineer the claim that modern rises in T were 'unprecedented'.

S&B might have been a bit sloppy and overstated. But how can any sane, objective person rubbish them without dismissing Mann et all as a work of uncompromised fraud, fakery, and statistical nonsense. To follow your line of argument above, he's a well-known 'warmist' and funded by the 'green machine'.

Instead of relying on 152 studies, Mann's well established reliance is on wrong centering of data, a tortured Principal Components Analysis, and discredited types and samples of proxies. You can put in the sales of Perry Como LPs as data and still end up with a hockey stick.

Despite this, Mann et all is somehow defended and STILL the hockey stick is trotted out, like a zombie powerpoint, as if it has some kind of validity.

So come on, BBD. Jumping into the kicking of Soon, Baliunas and de Freitas is unbecoming. It might have been a weak paper, but it's nothing like as bad as Mann's.

From BBD @ Dec 6, 2011 at 11:20 PM:


"So come on, BBD. Jumping into the kicking of Soon, Baliunas and de Freitas is unbecoming. It might have been a weak paper, but it's nothing like as bad as Mann's."

Indeed. Corporate corruption for financial gain meets noble cause corruption. Unedifying from all angles, but keep the crucial facts in view: the stupid PR disaster of the Mannean Hockey Stick has no bearing on the fundamentals of climate science. That's a sceptic meme, and it is wrong.

Let me say this again for absolute clarity: showing the Mannean Hockey Stick to be ill-founded does not 'refute' AGW. It makes absolutely no difference at all.

"S&B might have been a bit sloppy and overstated."

No, it was a deliberate attempt to suggest - incorrectly - that the dominant climate influence is natural variation. I cannot stress enough how unwise I think it is to make excuses for S & B. Or for de Freitas, come to that. Just research their backgrounds, affiliations and inter-relations.

Here's a spreadsheet of all the papers CdF edited for Climate Research. Note very surprising number by leading contrarians (eg Michaels, Balling, S & B, Idso Knappenberger, McKitrick). Note how the publications by these authors tail off after CdF leaves the journal.

Talk about pal review...


From Gixxerboy @ Dec 7, 2011 at 5:08 AM:


Linking to Desmoblog? There's some awful piffle on that. I found the Mashey article together with his spreadsheet and 'paper' on a subsequent page. So, non-alarmist ('contrarian') scientists found it easier to get published at Climate Research when Chris was editing? Excuse me if I am not surprised. Mashey's just mirroring what sceptics have been saying about 'Pal review' amongst the Team.

MBH 98 et al is not a 'PR disaster' that has 'no bearing on the fundamentals of climate science'. The 'hockey stick' it spawned is as much a poster child for global warming alarmism as Photoshopped polar bears. And its utterly spurious conclusions are still being defended like the evacuation of Dunkirk.

Fair enough, debunking The Stick does not refute AGW. On its own. But it makes the case for modern warming being unprecedented much more uncertain. And a huge amount of AGW-alarmist 'science' is a 'deliberate attempt to suggest that the dominant climate influence' is CO2.

I know your position on this, BBD, and we differ. My tentative conclusion is that CO2 is a significant influence on climate. But I am not as adamant as you about its overriding effect.

Citing the backgrounds, affiliations and interrelations of Chris dF, Soon and Salli Baliunas as reasons to reject the actual results is pretty poor form, BBD. One might equally reject MIke Hulme's because of his Marxism or anything by Mann, Trenberth et al becaue of their self-evident Leftism. Or anything that has the imprint of Houghton, the doyenne of alarmism.

From BBD @ Dec 7, 2011 at 2:18 PM


"Linking to Desmoblog? There's some awful piffle on that."

I know. But the Mashey piece is not piffle. And every entry on the spreadsheet is hotlinked to the relevant CR paper in pdf. So you can check the facts. A disturbing picuture emerges.

Trying to deligitimize the source because you don't like the message is a weak argument and (worse) tantamount to self-deception. Which is to be avoided.

So. This is a clear a case of sustained pal review. Two things stand out:

- many papers de Freitas accepted are weak scientifically BUT

- fit within a pattern of tactical publishing supporting a corporate-political agenda

- S & B 03 was the catalyst - once it was contested everything changed

In the light of this the reaction of the Team is actually understandable. In the case of S & B, their dubious connections are absolutely relevant given their contrarian stance.

Perhaps you can look at this as I do: imagine this was everyday business and somebody's asking for your money. Forget the climate angle. Just look at the facts.

Does it smell? Yes, like a week-dead cat.

"Citing the backgrounds, affiliations and interrelations of Chris dF, Soon and Salli Baliunas as reasons to reject the actual results is pretty poor form, BBD."

No. It's necessary. Due diligence. I've never looked at this before. Of course I should have done it at the outset, at the first whiff of controversy. Just as I would have done if this was business as usual and my money was on the table.

The verdict is clear: S&B03's conclusion is not supported by the paper itself. Add the context, and it suddenly becomes a very big problem indeed. A bigger picture emerges. CdF is part of the larger problem, but it goes all the way to the Heartland Institute, SPPI, CFACT etc and all the money behind these fronts. It's the same old same old.

I've been bloody sloppy with the background checks and very slow to wake up to what's going on here - but at least you can learn from my mistakes.

Dec 8, 2011 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

The climate audit post Behind Closed Doors: “Perpetuating Rubbish” is a useful starting point for this discussion, with several relevant emails from 'the team' as they discuss their response to Soon and Baliunas. This shows that they were aware that some of the material that they were including in their own paper, was, to use the technical term, 'crap'.

In 4207, Ray Bradley, one of the authors, uses this term to describe the Chinese series of Yang et al (GRL 2002), and yet Yang et al is used in the paper. Mann replied claiming that the china series got a 'moderate low weight', which was not true (see a later CA post).

The paper also uses Mann & Jones, about which Bradley says, in 3373, "the Mann/Jones GRL paper was truly pathetic and should never have been published. I don't want to be associated with that 2000 year "reconstruction"."
But he is associated with it because he's an author of the paper that used it!

Briffa is also unhappy, "but I find it somewhat ironic that it should be replaced with the latest (Mann and Jones) series that contains the same three series plus a mixture of other far more dubious (not to say bad ) series"

and (2023) "Further serious problems are still (see my and Tim's Science comment on the Mann 1999 paper) lurking with the correction applied to the Western US tree-ring PC amplitude series used (and shown in Figure 2). There are problems (and limitations ) with ALL series used."

In 4712 Wigley proposes adding some 'deliberately ambiguous' wording.

In 0539 Wigley writes " IT IS A DIFFICULT CALL -- WHETHER TO DUMP SERIES THAT HAVE NO SIGNIFICANT LINK TO TEMPERATURE AND WHICH ARE, AS WELL, DUBIOUS ON A PRIORI GROUNDS"

The same Wigley admits in 0682 that "By chance SB03 may have got some of these precip things right, but we don't want to give them any way to claim credit."

Dec 8, 2011 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Matthews

Climategate 2 has opened up the full extent to which the public were deceived.

It is increasingly difficult to defend the unashamed and highly bigoted views adopted by Mann and others and the public display of solidarity about Mann's own temperature reconstruction when this is now seen alongside so many of the reservations which 'the team' were privately expressing.

Dec 8, 2011 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Keywords highlighted:

By chance SB03 may have got some of these precip things right, but we don't want to give them any way to claim credit.

Once again: we've got blatantly bought-and-paid-for contrarianism from S&B vs not-exactly-settled science from the Team.

What people seem to be missing here is that the S&B stuff is serving a vested corporate interest, whereas the Team stuff is an attempt to rebut the unsupported S&B claim that there's nothing unusual about recent warming. Unfortunately, this involved using certain proxy studies and defending Mann's methodology. Oops.

But cut through the crap and what you've got is competent corruption vs incompetent noble cause corruption.

Now's a good time to remind ourselves of the facts surrounding Soon (and Baliunas, and Michaels and the various corporate front organisations they work for, and where much of the money is coming from).

Details here.

And I repeat: it doesn't matter if it's Kroll doing the digging, or Greenpeace. Neither Soon nor any other player has taken legal action. Therefore these facts are correct.

Now, do we look at this and pretend it's all fine and dandy, or do we look at it and think: this stinks and we are being manipulated?

Again, imagine you are evaluating an investment and it's your money on the table.

Who do you think is least trustworthy?

The Climategate hack is being used very deliberately to obscure the real story. But look at what (little) we know about Soon and his chums discussing how to undermine AR4. Who are 'Randy' and 'Walter', eh? And WTF are they doing being copied in to that letter?

I don't know what people here do for a living, but the sharper and more experience amongst you must surely be hearing alarm bells by now.

Dec 8, 2011 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

1 million dollars over 10 years funded by 'Big Oil' amounts to about $100 k per year or about £65k per year. Is that material as far as a source of funding is concerned? I think not.

In fact it would not surprise me in the slightest if CRU gets more than this either from either renewable energy suppliers, insurance companies, investment banks or the EC - all of whom have a vested interest in perpetuating alarmism.

In the end, these are ad hominem attacks. Who they work for is irrelevant - except perhaps when the taxpayer is paying and the funding is opaque.

Consider this extract from an email from Mann [0208 ]:

thanks for the update re CA--caught a hint of this latest fuss in a comment that came in at RC (which we deleted from the queue). Sounds like they're moving from person to person, first harassed Ben earlier this year, now you, who knows who is next. I've been trying to no avail to get some journalist to look into their funding, industry connections, etc. they need to be exposed--badly!

Now BDD:

I've been bloody sloppy with the background checks and very slow to wake up to what's going on here - but at least you can learn from my mistakes.

Note the similarity? BBD clearly learnt from the best and now expects you to as well.

Dec 8, 2011 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

matthu

In fact it would not surprise me in the slightest if CRU gets more than this either from either renewable energy suppliers, insurance companies, investment banks or the EC - all of whom have a vested interest in perpetuating alarmism.

Translation: I haven't got a clue.

In my comments, I link to sources of evidence. You just make stuff up. It's worse than weak argument.

In the end, these are ad hominem attacks. Who they work for is irrelevant

Er, rubbish. Multiple links to vested corporate interests in matters like climate science are absolutely relevant. They also destroy the credibility of those so funded. You have to be really, really naive and inexperienced to fail to understand this. Just how old are you?

Mann is right to want to know more about the funding and corporate links of the paid sceptics. It should be blindingly obvious why. And probably is to everyone but you.

Note the similarity? BBD clearly learnt from the best and now expects you to as well.

For someone whose every other word is 'ad-hominem' you are remarkably unaware of when you are doing it yourself ;-)

Still, that all adds to the fun aspect of our little chats.

Dec 8, 2011 at 4:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD - You lose me here.

Which are you saying: that Michael Mann (and Penn State) have no vested interests in upholding the credibility of his hockey stick, or that the (now widely acknowledged - since the PS enquiry) material vested interests are not relevant when applied to climate scientists but they are when applied to sceptics?

For removal of doubt, I would say that material vested interests of this nature do not on their own discredit the science but they DO fatally bias the outcome of an internal enquiry into probity.

(I still maintain that £65k per year is probably not considered material in this context.)

Dec 8, 2011 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

By the way, BBD, asking

How old are you?

is another attempt at ad hominem. You simply don't understand the fallacy, do you? FAIL

Dec 8, 2011 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Part 2 - Hiding the decline


In part 1 we saw how 'the team' in their attempt to discredit Soon and Baliunas, included several sources of data that they themselves knew to be 'crap'.

Another illustration of the dishonesty of their paper is the 'hide the decline' trick that it uses, see Hide-the-decline plus.

It cites Briffa et 2001. Look at Fig 4 in this paper - the reconstruction goes up to the 1990s, and dips down well below the observational data after about 1940.
In the famous 'hide the decline' email, Jones cut off Briffa's data in 1960. But in the EOS 2003 paper they went further and cut it off at 1940 - right at the maximum!
Worse still, they tried to hide this by drawing the thick red curve of observational data on top, so that the end of the Briffa curve can only just be seen at high magnification.
Even worse, the caption misleads the reader by saying 'scaled 1856-1980'.

In email 0285, one of them says "We also don't show it after 1940. I agree this has to be made very clear in the caption, and Scott should be able to help you guys make sure the caption is accurate."
But they didn't make it clear in the caption.

Dec 8, 2011 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Matthews

matthu

"FAIL"

Hmm. I'm revising my estimate downwards. Late teens, at best.

Dec 8, 2011 at 6:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BDD and Mike Mann are probably of a similar age. They share the same bigoted views towards sceptics, the same intolerance, the same rudeness.

I'm not saying that everyone of a similar age - Mann is 46 by the way - is bigoted and intolerant and rude. It would be pretty crass to say that! But people who do share those traits are also pretty likely to be of a similar age.

Dec 8, 2011 at 7:09 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Philip

Interesting links.

Also interesting, at least to me, is the fact (that word again) that last year, JC became an expert witness on climate science for the Republican Party. She joins illustrious company: Patrick Michaels (since 1989) and Richard Lindzen (since 1991).

Of course this is all pure coincidence and has nothing whatsoever to do with her apparent determination to represent the influence of various corporate front organisations (aka 'think tanks') as overstated by mainstream climate scientists. Obviously.

Dec 8, 2011 at 7:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

matthu

Re Dec 8, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Keep it up! Saves me the trouble of making you look silly.

Dec 8, 2011 at 7:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

All three are obviously bright, independently minded, well-qualified climate scientists.

Dec 8, 2011 at 7:29 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

matthu

Top one! You should be on telly.

Dec 8, 2011 at 8:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

So, any comment about Hide-the-decline plus (h/t Paul Matthews): was this yet another deliberate attempt to mislead? And if so, how does this affect the credibility of this bunch?

These are the same bunch who plotted to try to get the PhD of another scientist revoked, right? To destroy his career - simply because he was confronting their view of 'the truth'?

(Did you spot the scare quotes there, BBD? Quite effective, I thought.)

Dec 8, 2011 at 8:57 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Looks like our resident zealot is embarking on yet another of his one-man smear campaigns. All his "sources" are GOOD ...Because! He! Says! So!. And by, Gaia, if you don't agree with him, he'll just keep recycling his "arguments" and/or puerile ad hominems until the thread drives one to utter boredom.

But while it is not yet totally so littered ...

Philip, you had indicated in the thread in which this issue arose that you were wondering about Mike Hulme's involvement in (what has become) an all too familiar pattern of shamefully unscientific behaviour on the part of those dedicated to "the cause".

The shake 'n bake "scientific" cookery that went into the pre-Kyoto "Statement of European Scientists on Actions to Protect Global Climate" might provide some insight. This 1997 "Statement" concluded with the important and memorable message:

Although stronger emission reductions will be needed in the future, we see the -15% target as a positive first step “to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” and to lessen risks to society and nature. Such substantive action is needed now.

As one of the Coordinating cooks, Hulme seemed to have no problem with the fact that their strategy for gathering signatures provided very little (if any) opportunity for anyone to exercise any <gasp> due diligence prior to adding their signature to this illustrious list of endorsers of the - by then - deep-fried "Statement".

In 4808.txt, Hulme reveals that his decision to involve himself in this particular shameful matter appears to have been based solely on:

the strength of feeling amongst people like Phil Jones, Keith Briffa, Mike Mann, Ray Bradley, Tom Crowley, etc. [emphasis added -hro]

This E-mail thread also indicates that this "strength of feeling" derived from "scientific" evaluation terminology such as "crap" as determined by the "experts" on whose opinions Hulme chose to depend - and which he then signed onto (and circulated to others):

amongst concerned paleoclimate experts here at UEA, in the USA and in Oz and NZ and their [sic] is overwhelming consensus that the Soon and Baliunas work is just crap science that should never be passed peer review [emphasis added -hro]

The fact that (as this same E-mail reveals):

These paleo-experts have decided it is not worth a formal scientific response since the story has not run that widely in the mass media

stongly suggests that none of these "experts" had done any due diligence prior to formulating their "expert" opinions. Had they done so, surely they could have met the challenge of the obligation (well, at least the obligation they insist must be met by those who would challenge them!) to provide a "formal scientific response".

In short, Hulme's "Cookbook for the Cause" appears to have two very similar "recipes" - neither of which requires any measure of due diligence.

One is "shake 'n bake" - the recipe of choice for Statements; and the other is "bake 'n shake" - the recipe of choice for smothering the voices of those who (<gasp> if heard) might give one pause before swallowing the message of a "shake 'n bake" Statement.

Dec 8, 2011 at 11:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

My underlying interest in all of this is not the background character and motivations of the players - though we should be aware of them. The issue is, can we rely on their conclusions?

1. Soon & Baliunas. Let's accept BBD's evidence that they're shills for Big Oil and Right-wing think tanks. And let's say that Chris is biased towards allowing papers of a sceptical bent to get published. In concert, they would like to see publication of something contrary to AGW-alarmism.

2. Mann, Jones et al. We know that they wanted to 'get rid of the MWP' because it undermines their claims that C20th warming is unprecedented. We know that their aim is to play up the catastrophic nature of global warming and to ensure anthropogenic CO2 is singled out as the culprit. We also know their links to Green advocacy groups, and the money-go-round that provides.

Two groups with equally clear, but opposed, motivations.

Now let's examine their failings.

1. S&B pulled together 152 studies of varying merit then cross tabulated them to show where MWP, LIA and C20th signals (anomalies) of warming were found. In simple terms, MWP and LIA signals were widespread; C20th warming much less so. This is of course all from proxies. The chief failings are a lack of stated methodology combined with an overstatement of the results. And the whole notion of measuring the C20th by proxy is frankly quixotic. (I have already stated that I view proxies, paleo or otherwise, as being as useful as a one-armed shearer.)

2. From MBH98 onwards, through all its defences, we see a clusterf*@k of errors, manipulations, amateur-night statistics , cherry picking of and undue reliance upon unsuitable data, and all tied together with a measure of statistical reliance (RE) that was :

a) obscure
b) widely thought to be unsuitable
c) likely to produce misleading results, and
d) later equated to a (more conventional) R-squared correlation of temperature under 0.2

MBH98 and its progeny had methodology, all right. The kind of methodology that deliberately cooked the books to 'get rid of the MWP' and show a massive uptick in C20th warming.

So. S&B had a clear 'result' in mind. Their paper was pretty simplistic, it failed to present a methodology and it overstated its findings. But its conclusion that there is widespread evidence of a MWP and LIA, of significant anomaly and found around the globe, seems incontrovertible. (If you believe in the proxy fairy.) Or am I missing something?

Mann and his Team of resolute Hockey Stick defenders also had a clear result in mind. Through well-documented means, they cobbled together reconstruction that 'disappeared' the MWP and LIA. The reliability of Mann et al's conclusions? Zero, I'd say. Or am I missing something?

And that's before one looks at the actual effect of MBH98 onwards, the lingering belief in the hockey stick and the mad policies that have ensued. As for Willie and Sallie (and Chris) shilling for 'Big Oil'? Well, fine, but remember the evidence they presented wasn't theirs - they just pulled it together.

Dec 9, 2011 at 3:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

Thank you, Gixxerboy - I think you give a pretty fair synopsis there (although perhaps I would not have glossed over so many of the other failings of the Team to quite the extent that you did).

Dec 9, 2011 at 8:45 AM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

matthu

Their 'failings' are encyclopaedic. We also know, thanks to FOIA ( who gets my vote for New Zealander of the year....BUGGER! I've blown her cover...) that they were not innocent.

Dec 9, 2011 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

Gixxerboy

... remember the evidence they presented wasn't theirs - they just pulled it together ...
Precisely the point I was making when I argued the point with BBD elsewhere.
You can certainly argue that the paper was "political" in the sense that it set out to prove the existence of (inter alia) the MWP and you can argue that it was not desperately well put together but neither of these is necessarily an argument for not publishing it.
Context is everything. MBH98 was also "political". By the time it had been fairly thoroughly trashed (as you have pointed out above) it was evident, if it hadn't been already, that its main purpose was to prove the non-existence of the MWP.
Which makes it no different from S&B03.
The source of funding of either or both or neither of the groups of participants is not relevant no matter how much the warmists may wish to say it is, and the fact that de Freitas may have had a "tendency" to print papers that differed from the Team paradigm is to his credit. Or at least it would be in the real world; in the rarefied atmosphere of climate pseudo-science perhaps not.
The big problem with Soon & Baliunas was that it did pull together in one place for all the world to see 152 separate pieces of evidence — some good, some bad, some indifferent, some from Mann's own "colleagues" (which was probably what hurt the most) — that the cornerstone of the argument at that time, namely that 20th century warming was unprecedented in 1000 years, was at best doubtful and at worst deceitful, dishonest, and plain wrong!
And that was something the warmists could not live with. And their "useful idiots" still defend them even in the face of doubts from within the team itself.

Dec 9, 2011 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

I am just waiting for a BBD post that starts: "Yes Gixxer. You ARE missing something..." ;-)

In the meantime. Hillary, I know how prickly BBD can seem but please try to be polite.

...still trying to place Richard Betts at The Boot Inn. I'm thinking he was a pint of Stella man (before it became Olde Wifebeater) rather than Morlands.

Dec 9, 2011 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

Gixxerboy
There are many forms of politeness. For instance, insisting that every thread be about you and your theory is not one of them. Heh. Shouting all the time is another one.

Dec 9, 2011 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Shub

Yeah, I know where you're going with that and you (and matthu, and hills) have been in a few stoushes with BBD.

So. Is there any chance we can reboot from here?

I've read comments that BBD is the 'village idiot'. The guy is clearly smarter (and a more diligent reader) than most who venture here.

I've also read BBD's insults to others that would have quickly earned him a punch in the mouth from me. So I questioned BBD on his apparent bad temper with some folk. He clearly feels beleaguered,

There are elements of playground behaviour going on here. And it's not conducive to decent debate.

Any chance we can shuck off the slanging and nastiness? I'd rather conduct a civilized discourse with intelligent people who have an interest (if diverging opinions) in the area of climate change. It's why I started looking at Bishop Hill in the first place.

Dec 9, 2011 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy