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diogenes, interesting observation that the attack on HSI has now switched to the conspiracy angle. I wonder how many meetings and discussions it took for them to come up with that idea.

Feb 24, 2016 at 7:06 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


Thank you for the clarification of your position regarding the HSI - we're making progress, and to be honest I'm relieved to learn what your position is. I find it much more sustainable than what I feared you were saying.

For what it's worth, I'm not in the conspiracy theory camp. I suspect most climate alarmists, whether scientists or ordinary concerned citizens, are sincere, or certainly were at the outset (I used to believe in it sincerely too, for a while). But I do believe that it's got out of control, and that (ironically, given the alarmist attacks on "Big Oil" and "Big Coal" etc, whatever they are) there are now a lot of vested interests which need the alarm to continue. Whether deliberately or subconsciously, I think there is now a determination on the part of many people to defend the alarmist theory regardless of the facts.

You and I are both very interested in the subject and have read widely around it (though you won't read the HSI!!!) and have arrived at different conclusions. Fair enough, so far as I'm concerned. The problem is that you are alarmed by the possible consequences of not acting on CO2 emissions and I am equally concerned about the consequences of the steps we are taking supposedly to combat CO2 emissions. We both feel strongly about it, that's why the debate is so important, so intense and sometimes a little heated.

Still, I suspect you and I could have a pint down the pub and not come to blows. Sadly there are quite a few people on your side of the debate (and I accept some on the other side too) with whom I just cannot conceive of spending an evening in the pub. It's a pity, really. I admit that deep down in my subconscious I'm influenced by the fact that I feel more empathy with most of the supporters of this website than with some of the alarmists who comment here or are regulars on alarmist websites. We're only human, and that's life, I guess.

Here endeth though for the day.

Feb 24, 2016 at 7:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

I forgot to post the two images:
The black line has 500 samples. The green line has the last 6 samples removed.The whole thing, handle and blade, are unchanged. This indicates that it is highly unlikely that removing the infilled section that you, NiV, say is important, makes a jot of difference.

Mark, I don't understand the animosity you feel towards ATTP. If you were to visit his site, you would be treated very politely. You'd probably get a personal reply from ATTP to whatever you said/asked. You in particular would experience no rudeness or insults because you don't have an adversarial approach. Have you ever tried?

My impression is that people (here and on other sites I have witnessed) goad him deliberately to drive him away. I assume this is because what he says can't be countered logically and so his message is a threat to "skepticism". When facts and logic fail, the only remaining approach is to prevent him from posting by being rude enough that he doesn't want to stay.

Feb 24, 2016 at 9:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

does Raff remind you of an adopted puppy? And worse, an adopted pupply who does not understand the concept of weighting.

[snip - venting]]

Feb 24, 2016 at 11:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Raff says:

"I don't understand the animosity you feel towards ATTP. If you were to visit his site, you would be treated very politely. You'd probably get a personal reply from ATTP to whatever you said/asked. You in particular would experience no rudeness or insults because you don't have an adversarial approach. Have you ever tried?"

I have visited his site. It was part of my attempt to glean more about the alarmist case in order to try to be better balanced in my understanding of the issues. I posted a polite and fairly anodyne comment on a thread about renewable energy to try to get a debate going as the thread as it stood was a tedious echo chamber. I'm glad you regard my approach as non-adversarial, and trust you will believe me when I say my post was polite. It genuinely was. I was savaged by a pack of eco-fascists as a result, and ATTP joined in quite happily. I was most certainly not treated politely. By the way, in my opinion, his comments on that thread displayed an alarming ignorance of basic economics, but that's another matter. Needless to say I never bothered going back,

Perhaps it's because you tend to agree with what ATTP says and I don't, that leads me to find his approach and his comments often to be snide and unpleasant, whereas you don't see that. No doubt the same could be said in reverse with regard to some commenters on this site and how we each perceive them. For what it's worth, I'm quite happy for ATTP to comment, as I think he and Mann between them do more harm to their cause than I or all the contributors on here could manage between us! I just wish he would confine his personal online activities to his own time and not spend half of his working life doing so.

Feb 25, 2016 at 8:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark, if you wanted to “glean more about the alarmist case” you would do better to read rather than comment and certainly not to write a deliberate wind-up. And a thread about Climate Wars Bingo [1] is probably not the best place to start.

In your comment about renewables you accused one comment of cherry picking (which it was) and everyone there and here of “self-congratulatory and self-reinforcing group think”. That seems provocative at the very least.

3 minutes later ATTP asked you a simple question, which to me seemed quite reasonable and could have been answered equally reasonably. In the next 3 hours, Richard replied politely explaining his comment on renewables, ATTP agreed with Richard about a carbon tax, BBD ignored you and Mark Ryan agreed with you partly. Only MikeH rose once to your group-think taunt.

In response to this you gave ATTP a lecture on the iniquities of wind power, gave MikeH some snark, complemented Richard and then said:

ATTP and your acolytes – I’ve tried, but I won’t be back. Your pack animal response to even the mildest form of debate has confirmed my worst fears. Now I’ll sit back and await the full fury I’ve no doubt unleashed.

So of his “acolytes” only one was in any way negative towards you. ATTP was totally polite just asking a question that you never answered. The “pack animal” response was one single bit of snark from MikeH and your “mildest form of debate” looks like a deliberate wind-up. The “full fury” never appeared as everyone apart from the host ignored you.

Yet you describe this as being “savaged by a pack of eco-fascists” with ATTP happily joining in. You were treated very politely and it is not clear at all that ATTP “displayed an alarming ignorance of basic economics”.

You appear to have visited the site, perhaps having heard from everyone here how “nasty” it was, with the deliberate aim of being offended.


Feb 25, 2016 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff


I've re-read the thread, and you won't be surprised to learn that I don't agree at all with your analysis. Although I did, in my opening comment, accuse someone of cherry-picking (which you agree they did) I went out of my way to make it clear that I was not looking for a fight, and that I saw faults with people on both sides of the debate. My actual comment was as follows:

"“So, actually, I am realistic optimistic. In the UK, on a windy sunny day in June we managed to produce 43% of our electricity from renewables.”

Oh, for goodness’ sake! Talk about cherry picking your statistics. What about a cold, calm sunless day in January, when we need to heat our homes.

I visit both “sceptic” and “scientific” sites and am sad to see on both sets of sites abuse and misunderstanding of “the other side” plus self-congratulatory and self-reinforcing group think on both sides.

I try to keep an open mind on the theories surrounding climate change, though the comments made by many people on both sides of the debate depress me, But do please let’s be realistic about renewables. Whatever their long-term future, they are to date hopelessly inefficient, expensive, and totally dependent on subsidies. Without significant improvements in their technology, they are not currently the answer, and there is not much to be optimistic about, unless you’re a landowner getting rich on the back of the subsidies."

ATTP's response was simply bizarre, and did in my opinion display a deep ignorance of economics (or perhaps he was simply being deliberately obtuse):

"Maybe you can explain something to me. If landowners are really getting rich (rather than wind simply being more expensive) then presumably we could simply drive a harder bargain and reduce the cost of wind power? If, on the other hand, wind power is expensive, how are the landowners getting rich?"

Someone called Mike H then said:

"“I try to keep an open mind on the theories surrounding climate change”
As Carl Sagan warned, ““It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.”

“…plus self-congratulatory and self-reinforcing group think on both sides.”
And thanks for the comment congratulating yourself that you are not one of the group thinkers while simultaneously reciting the now standard & might I say rather dull critique of renewable energy. Apparently self-awareness is not your strong point.,"

Now on this site, there might have been a snip by our host as gratuitous insults, especially to a new poster, are not particularly welcome in civilised circles. ATTP doesn't have the excuse that he hadn't noticed, as he was closely monitoring and intervening in the thread every few minutes (does he ever do any work?). He let it pass, presumably because he was happy with the comment.

I think you correctly summarise the other points that followed. I then responded as follows:

"“Maybe you can explain something to me. If landowners are really getting rich (rather than wind simply being more expensive) then presumably we could simply drive a harder bargain and reduce the cost of wind power? If, on the other hand, wind power is expensive, how are the landowners getting rich?”

No doubt as someone who hasn’t come on this site and simply agreed with everything that everyone else says, I’ll be pilloried too for my next observation, but your above comments are incomprehensible to me. You immediately add the caveat “if” landowners are really getting rich…There’s no “if ” about it. You don’t have to be a Daily Mail reader (I’m not, I hasten to add) to know that David Cameron’s father-in-law, for instance, earns £1,000 a day from wind turbines on his extensive lands. There are many super-rich people like him becoming even richer on the back of these subsidies, while poor people pay more for their energy to add to the wealth of the super-rich. I consider myself to be left wing on most issues, and am constantly surprised that this debate has polarised on left/right lines where it’s the people on the right who express concern at the redistribution of wealth from poor to rich, while people on the left seem very happy to condone it.

We could drive a harder bargain and reduce the cost of wind power. The problem is that we don’t. Your final point is, with respect, a complete non-sequitur. Just because wind power is expensive (it is, as most people on all sides of the debate acknowledge, even if it is one of the cheaper forms of renewable energy), why would that stop landowners getting rich? It doesn’t follow that they won’t make money if they’re been subsidised by the taxpayer and by energy users.

Mike H – thank you for making my point for me. Ad hominem attacks again, rather than engaging in a mature and intelligent debate.

Richard – thank you for making a more measured and reasonable response to my comments. Unfortunately neither the proprietor of the website, nor some of the other contributors make it worthwhile trying to get a debate going, although I would happily have discussed this further with you.

ATTP and your acolytes – I’ve tried, but I won’t be back. Your pack animal response to even the mildest form of debate has confirmed my worst fears. Now I’ll sit back and await the full fury I’ve no doubt unleashed."

In hindsight, I accept that the final paragraph may have been a little extreme, but the reason for that is that I was genuinely disappointed by the group-think, by ATTP's ignorance, and frankly shocked to have been on the end of a gratuitous insult after having posted a measured comment, only to see the website host happily let it pass. I'm afraid I rather took the view that if that is the quality of debate on what tries to pass as a leading climate alarmist website, then it was all gravely disappointing.

Realising that my final paragraph was a little harsh, I then posted a final conciliatory comment:

"Sorry, one last point. I agreed with everything in Mark Ryan’s penultimate post, save for the final paragraph. Apologies Mark R – I exclude you from my criticism of the responses I received. Thank you for your objectivity."

When I told ATTP that his next comment (to ask everyone to simply ignore me) rather made my point for me (i.e that there was no willingness there to engage in a debate) he responded "How? You appeared to say that you would never come back and that you expected everyone here to pile on. I was simply pointing out that I was going to ask everyone to simply ignore you. Would you rather everyone piled on? I’d rather they didn’t, as that’s the norm at places like Bishop-Hill and I’d rather this site didn’t sink to that level. However, if you’d find it dissapointing [sic] if they don’t, I’ll consider making an exception."

He couldn't resist the dig at this website (Bishop Hill) with which he is clearly obsessed.

Your comment that everyone ignored me simply isn't true. Neither is your suggestion that I was treated very politely. I didn't fail to answer ATTP's question - rather I gave a detailed response. Mike H's comment wasn't "one single bit of snark", it was an unpleasant and gratuitous insult. My "group think" comment wasn't a wind up, since I went out of my to say that I saw it on both sides of the debate. It was a (not very effective, admittedly) attempt to be emollient. I most certainly did not accuse "everyone there and here of “self-congratulatory and self-reinforcing group think”" - you should read my comment more carefully. Your final comment is wholly inaccurate conjecture.

I think the whole exercise taught me some valuable lessons. I thought I was being emollient and trying to introduce myself to a new site on a discussion thread quite gingerly. Some people there were obviously happy with the way I introduced myself, others (one certainly) were just determined to be unpleasant. I guess I learned that people who don't agree with you can easily be offended, which is why I now try exceptionally hard to be as non-confrontational as possible (with the exception of responding to ATTP, who - whatever you think- regularly goes out of his way to be unpleasant to people).

I regret the length of this response, but I feel your summary of what happened (inevitably seen from your viewpoint rather than mine) was not a fair summary of what actually happened. Now that it's set out in full, others can judge for themselves. I have nothing to hide.

Feb 25, 2016 at 8:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark, your behavior on that thread was bizarre. Do you really think insulting both sides leaves you untarnished in the eyes of either? If someone new tried that here they'd get dumped upon. And do you think your critique of renewables hasn't been heard there a hundred times?

ATTP's question to you highlighted what might be seen as a contradiction in your statement about renewables. Instead of answering in a way that clarified what you meant you got upset and gave a lecture. Your reactions went downhill from there.

Feb 25, 2016 at 11:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff


I didn't insult both sides. I was trying to say that there are faults on both sides (which there undoubtedly are) and therefore I was anticipating that having made that point I would not just be treated as a sceptic troll. Then one of the first commentators went and did just that. I'm not surprised that I was annoyed.

However, I accept that if even someone as reasonable as yourself misinterpreted my comment, then I shouldn't be surprised that others did too. I was trying to be polite, however; it just seems to have backfired.

Incidentally, I knew when I mentioned my visit to ATTP's site that you'd look for it, and I suspected you'd find it too. Please give me credit for that.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of that, I'm still mystified by your faith in ATTP and in your belief in his reasonableness and politeness. There's plenty of evidence all over the internet (including current threads on this website) which demonstrate quite the reverse. I'm not really sure what he is doing, other than gratifying his ego. His own website does nothing more than preach to the converted. His forays onto sceptical websites usually end up with him having a spat with someone who disagrees with him and then being rude to them. I could understand someone of his exalted status visiting sceptic websites occasionally to try to advance polite and rational arguments in an effort to convert people to his way of thinking. But if that's what he's trying to do, he's adopted a way of behaving which backfires every time. :-)

Feb 26, 2016 at 8:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark, if you don't want to appear to be a skeptic troll, don't behave like one. Don't suggest the people you want to talk to have faults they wouldn't recognize in themselves, don't accuse someone of cherry picking at first contact, don't conflate the subjects of renewables and climate change and don't state things as fact when you know very little about them.

On ATTP, you seem to have a grudge against him, judging by the way you effectively accuse him of cheating his employer. I don't blame him for being rude to you in return. I've seen him attacked in various places, sometimes in pretty nasty language. He, like me, replies in kind when attacked. My impression is that people find it more beneficial (in a propaganda sense) to attack him and then complain "he's horrible to me" that to address his criticism of their arguments or to frame better their arguments.

Feb 26, 2016 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff


I'm disappointed in you and disappointed in your latest reply. I expected better of you.

You tell me not to accuse someone of cherry picking, when you yourself agreed that was what they had done. Then you tell me not to conflate the subjects of renewables and climate change, when I did no such thing. I am always extremely careful to keep the two subjects separate because they are separate. One of my great and repeated complaints about climate alarmists is that in their religion it seems to be the case that once you believe in AGW or CAGW it follows that you have to believe in the lunacy of destroying our energy system and replacing it with expensive, unreliable renewables, even if the net effect of doing so has very little if any effect in reducing our CO2 emissions (for a whole host of reasons of which I'm sure you're well aware, so I won't repeat them here). It is climate alarmists who seem to specialise in conflating renewables and climate change, not me. Finally you make the insulting comment, based entirely on belief not knowledge - "don't state things as fact when you know very little about them.".

So there I am, condemned utterly by you, on the evidence of no more than a few paragraphs on a single thread on ATTP's site. I suspect my real crime in your eyes is in daring to challenge ATTP and not to be intimidated by his rudeness and insults.

ATTP on the other hand, despite regularly having the online manners of a polecat, as he has demonstrated repeatedly on this site this week, as well as here and elsewhere over a prolonged period, can apparently do no wrong in your eyes. Your comments regarding the spat between him and me (and others) elsewhere on this site this week demonstrate a rather one-sided view of things, in my respectful opinion.

If you re-read any of the threads on here this week where ATTP has been commenting freely, I would invite you to consider that the first throwing of insults and abuse almost invariably emanates from him. Your statement that: "I don't blame him for being rude to you in return. I've seen him attacked in various places, sometimes in pretty nasty language. He, like me, replies in kind when attacked " has it the wrong way round. He usually starts the attacking in pretty nasty language, then people respond in kind, then he complains, often throwing in a few more insults for good measure.

It's all also capped off by a glorious lack of self-awareness or irony. Having devoted a good deal of time on a thread here to abusing this site, its host, and commentators critical of him, his response to a commenter suggesting he might visit ATTP's site and post comments, was: "I moderate heavily, expect basic common decency and don't really put up with nonsense. I'm not convinced you'd be capable of satisfying the general requirements." For goodness' sake!

By the way, I don't have a grudge against Ken Rice, I just think that someone of his exalted academic status, who feels free to spend much of his working day playing on the internet and insulting people for no better reason than that they have dared to disagree with him, should be held to reasonably high standards of behaviour. I find his behaviour to be unedifying and distasteful. The fact that you seem to see nothing to criticise in his behaviour strikes me as perplexing, to say the least. If I or any of the regular posters on here behaved as he did, I suspect you would hold us to a rather higher standard. That's all.

Feb 26, 2016 at 8:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark, there's a difference between saying "Oh, for goodness’ sake! Talk about cherry picking your statistics." and "That was an exceptional day: most days are sadly not like that". They make the same point but the second wont put any backs up. And when discussing renewables, there was no reason to even mention climate science, let alone your "open mind", which is bound to go down badly. Your idea that "alarmists" believe in destroying the energy system is a common skeptic meme, but I doubt you'll find many, if any at all, who want that. Try asking at ATTP on an appropriate thread, if you can do so without antagonizing people. The thing about your confident statement that renewables are "hopelessly inefficient, expensive, and totally dependent on subsidies" is that you don't know it to be true. You are just quoting skeptic rhetoric, heard many times here no doubt. For example, what is the efficiency that you refer to? Photosynthesis is only 3-6% efficient [1] - is that hopelessly inefficient? And if people really are making fortunes from renewables then the machines/panels don't need, and are thus not dependent on, subsidies.

As for ATTP throwing the first punch, take a look at [2]. ATTP's first comment addresses the paper under discussion. His second comment quotes from "Harry Passfield" (Feb 23, 2016 at 9:00 PM, now partially snipped) where Harry asks "and you, Ken Rice, what are you, who the f*ck are you" and says of those in academe "you're all a load of shits anyway". Can you find a way to make that abuse ATTP's fault?


Feb 27, 2016 at 3:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterRaff


Your first point is a good one, and I accept it. I have learned a few lessons along the way, and if I was to try again, I would do it the way you suggest,

I don't think that alarmists generally believe in destroying the energy system - that would be stupid. However, I do believe that their misguided policies have led Governments to begin to destroy the energy system and not replace it with something we can rely on, and to do so at great cost. It's possible that a few of the more radical "greens" are happy with this, but I suspect most (of the ordinary green supporters, anyway) are just ignorant of the effect of the policies, and have the quaint belief that the people in charge wouldn't be so stupid as to let them down. I guess from the timing of some of your points and some of your spelling that you are not based in the UK, and may be American. I have no problem with that, of course. I would just point out that if you lived in the UK and watched the alarming destruction of our energy capacity, you might not be quite so complacent. There is a very real danger that the lights will be going out here sooner rather than later.

I have to take issue with this: "And if people really are making fortunes from renewables then the machines/panels don't need, and are thus not dependent on, subsidies." It displays the same bizarre reasoning that came back at me from ATTP on his site. I'm really staggered that you say it with a straight face. The subsidies are so huge that it is perfectly possible for the machines and panels to be inefficient and expensive, to require subsidies to operate at all, AND for the landowners where they are situated to make fortunes out of them. That is the nub of our complaint about them. It is highly amusing to watch the representatives of the renewable industry making disingenuous statements about the competitiveness of their product, and then to squeal like a stuck pig at the first hint that the Government might reduce their subsidies or - heaven forfend - remove them altogether. As ATTP might say, I could say that I didn't respond to the comment on his site when he made it to me because it was so stupid as not to deserve a riposte. But as I'm not ATTP, I'll just say that I think perhaps you need to think about it a little bit more deeply. It was his comment there that led me to complain about his ignorance of basic economics, by the way.

As for ATTP and the comments on the thread to which you refer, I could say that you have cherry picked your example, but as I'm learning to be less provocative, I will say instead that I don't defend for one moment the offensive language that was used towards him (I have never used such language online myself and I hope I never do) and would add that I don't blame ATTP for his response in that instance. But it is only one instance in many, and most of the instances do operate the other way round.

While we're talking about ATTP, we might as well get where I'm coming from here out of the way once and for all:

1. You have seen my spat with ATTP on this website this week, and you have seen my efforts on one thread on his site. Apart from those, I can think of only one other occasion when I have had a less than pleasant run-in with anyone online. It happened on another sceptic site, last year, when I (and a number of others) had a long-running argument with a troll (actually, he may well have been a paid troll factory, but that's beside the point). If you wish to use that case against me, then I hold up my hands, and pleaded a qualified guilty. And I have to say I never enjoy occasions such as those. But those cases aside, I'm pretty confident that all the rest of my on-line activity has taken place in a professional and civilised way, without offence being taken or given.

The same cannot remotely be said of ATTP. If you spend an hour or two (it probably needn't take that long) looking at his online activities on various sceptic websites over a substantial period of time, you will find dozens, probably hundreds, possibly even thousands, of examples of him having unpleasant runs-in with people. I accept, as in the example you just gave, that they aren't all started by him. I accept also that some have taken place between him and prickly individuals who can equally be found arguing away in an unpleasant manner elsewhere, so the blame is probably evenly spread there. But I would contend that the vast majority of the cases take place because ATTP responds sarcastically, insultingly, or aggressively to a challenge. When someone is involved in online unpleasantness on such a regular basis, one has to question whether they are really blameless. And why does he do it? Despite being deeply rude about the contents (and sometimes the owners) of the sites he visits, he just can't stay away. He seems to revel in the unpleasantness rather than, as I do, finding it distasteful on those rare occasions when I'm caught up in it.

2. On the sceptic site I mentioned above, I stumbled last summer on a comment aimed at the host, which stopped me in my tracks due to the bile it contained and the sheer nastiness of its contents. I suspect you're much more IT literate than I am (it wouldn't be difficult), but I have learned that sometimes you can click on the name of the poster and link to their website, and so it proved in this case. I won't name the person concerned, because it would be unfair as they're not here to defend themselves. Suffice it to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the contents of their website, and I discovered that I shared a few interest with the person in question. In different circumstances, who knows, we might even have got on quite well? (Though I was amused to see him insisting that commenters on his website needed to behave properly etc etc, while he felt free to be very rude on someone else's website. Double standards seem to be common in the world of climate alarmism). So, how did he come to write what he did, and how did he come to think that it was OK? Where could he have learned such behaviour? You've guessed it - he was linked to Edinburgh University. A short time later (while visiting ATTP's site, as it happens - I do try to learn you know!) it became apparent that the link was more than just Edinburgh University, the person in question was a student there who obviously knows Professor Rice well.

That is why on the "going down" thread here I suggested that ATTP has responsibilities in view of his position, and asked him if he thought his behaviour set a good example to his students. I didn't expect you or anyone else to pick up on the reference (how could you/why would you?) but I thought ATTP might. If he did, he didn't acknowledge it, didn't answer the question, and responded with what I regard as abuse ("You can consider the possibility that the manner in which I engage here largely reflects my general opinion of the site and the commenters. You're welcome to behave in a manner that might change that opinion, but infantile exchanges like this, isn't going to do it.").

So that's where I'm coming from regarding Professor Rice. I find the whole furore surrounding him to be strange and sad, but to be his own creation. I'm sure he's a brilliant man in his own field, and I wouldn't dream of taking him on there - how could I? So I can't understand why someone so gifted, with such an exalted position, and with such responsibilities, seems so happy wallowing in the dirt being rude to visitors to these sites.

Feb 27, 2016 at 9:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark, yes I should have been more equivocal about subsidies and fortunes. Some renewables are still dependent upon subsidy. If there are fortunes being made then the subsidy is perhaps too high. In the same way, traditional generators' profits have for generations been dependent upon being able to emit CO2 and more nasty pollutants without charge. A significant carbon tax (and dividend) would address both issues. But landowners will still be paid for the use of their land, whether it is for wind turbines or for the extraction of coal.

As for your spat with ATTP, if you are referring to your accusing him of commenting on "work time", I'd expect you to know his exact working hours, his contractual requirements and whether he fulfills the job of a uni professor before implying that he is not. I'm pretty sure you don't know any of that. And as I said, for others who can't counter his arguments logically or scientifically, insulting him and then whinging when he retaliates is doubtless better propaganda value.

Feb 27, 2016 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Thanks Raff

I don't suppose we'll ever agree about wind turbines (and renewables, generally) but we're clarifying our meanings, which always helps. In the same spirit, I should also say that when I said renewables are expensive, unreliable, and inefficient, I meant in the UK, and I also meant relative to conventional fossil fuel power generation. I should also add that I am not viscerally hostile to renewables, and in principle I think they're a good idea. I just don't think we should risk destroying our energy security at great expense by relying on technology which isn't good enough yet. And I'm also not very happy when wind turbines (in my view) destroy our wild and beautiful places and give us very little (at great expense) in return. By the way, in the UK, today's Daily Telegraph has a story under the heading "Britain will be running on emergency power to keep the lights on next winter." It includes the line "National Grid figures show that on current plans there will be too few power plants operating under normal conditions to keep the lights on for most of December, January and February." I suspect you could find it online if you're interested.

So far as concerns ATTP, I was trying to flush out what exactly is going on with his constant patrolling of and commenting on sceptic sites, given that on 5th October 2015 on this very site, at 4.30pm, on a discussion thread under the heading "Puffed rice" he quite openly stated:

"No, I gave up on the 'all sides thing' ages ago. In my view, genuine dialogue is virtually impossible. I'm not trying to bridge any kind of divide, or encourage better dialogue. I no longer really care, and I don't think it is actually possible to do so." Disarmingly open and honest, but it doesn't explain what he's doing on these sites all the time if they're the things he's NOT trying to do.

I think we can agree that he's a very intelligent man, and I also think we can agree that, just as my "cherry-picking" comment on his site wasn't the way to win hearts and minds, neither is his tactic of regularly describing this site as a "science denial" site, and all of us who post positively on it as "science deniers". And, as he's a clever man, we can also assume that he knows that too. But still he does it, as often as he can.

I'm well aware that academics at universities aren't tied to their desks or labs 9-5 Monday-Friday, but I do know that it must nevertheless be difficult for him to put in what I would regard as respectable work hours given the amount of time he spends on his own website and on trolling sceptic websites (I use the word "trolling" not to be provocative, but because in view of what I think I've established above, he certainly isn't trying to achieve anything positive during his visits to sceptic websites).

So, although I have in the past perhaps been too direct, in this case I think I've perhaps been a little too elliptical. What I was trying to establish is whether his regular daily dose of several hours on the internet, on his own web-site and on sites such as this, is sanctioned and approved by his employers. If it isn't, while I'm not accusing him of defrauding his employers (or anything near that) I think it would tell us something interesting about what would then seem to be incredibly relaxed working hours for senior academics, and an extremely relaxed attitude to their extra-curricular activities. Alternatively, if it IS sanctioned by his employers, if perhaps it even forms part of what they want him to do as part of his job, then that in turn tells us something very interesting about what's going on in Britain's universities (or at least one of them) today.

If the latter is the correct explanation, then it bothers me probably more than if the former is the explanation. It carries with it the implication that the British academic establishment is so signed up to the climate change agenda that it is happy for, even encourages, one of its senior academics to troll sceptic websites (and to be rude to people while he's there, whether under provocation or not). I suppose the fact that you don't consider the possibility is because you're not a sceptic. But aren't you even a little bit curious as to what is going on here, and why?

Anyway, I've probably done that to death, and I see that I've also thoroughly derailed your thread and a jolly interesting discussion between you and NiV. I shall disappear now for a while and leave you two to get back to it if you want to. :-)

Feb 27, 2016 at 3:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Don't worry, I think NiV has given up. The last straw was, I think, when his supposed model of Mann's process was completely insensitive to discarding that last 6 years of data.

You keep mentioning efficiency, but I really don't know what you mean by that. I'm skeptical of a 100% renewable future in the UK, but I'm not against them and I certainly don't see them advancing without investment, implementation and experience. And that means either a good carbon tax or subsidy. I'd prefer the former but as it is nowhere on the horizon, the latter will have to do. And that does mean someone will make money from them, probably those who already have money.

As far as the UK running out of power, I seem to remember reading similar scare stories last year about the winter just gone. That doesn't mean it wont happen, but I wouldn't trust the Telegraph to discuss it in a balanced manner either way.

On ATTP, I think we have dwelled there long enough. He can and does defend himself perfectly well without my help.

Feb 28, 2016 at 12:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

The 6 years of completely "extrapolated" (i.e. "made up") data in the Gaspe series is the least of the problems with it. Up until 1421 it only had one tree. Up until 1447 it only had two trees. So the extrapolation was doubly unjustified. Add to this that there is no evidence that these tree(s) were at a latitudinal or altitudinal tree line and thus even theoretically temperature sensitive, and you have a complete boondoggle.

The use of this incredibly series as one of the most heavily weighted components for 1400s temperature violates both the pre-stated standards of the field and MBH's professed own standards. And it does affect the reconstruction significantly.

Feb 28, 2016 at 8:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterEd Bo

Glad to see the conversation's back up and running, despite my derailing of it.

Thanks for the discussion, Raff, I've enjoyed it. I'm a bit busy at the moment, so might not be on here for a while, but thanks for having kept it civilised. :-)

Feb 28, 2016 at 8:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark, it does get hard when you have to remind raff to read responses, and try to understand them. His last response was very SkS. Niv had explained chapter and verse. Raff was not able to understand. And we know that reading is hard for him. Nasty people might try to influence him, so he does not read.

Mar 1, 2016 at 12:42 AM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes