Climate, paleoclimate, huevos rancheros, and general asymmetry

Comment Policy

with 6 comments

The few comments this blog has received thus far have been largely positive and generally inquisitive.  But I want to establish from the outset that I have no interest in letting the comment section of this blog resemble the ‘Lord of the Flies’.  As I related to commentator Eric from Climate Audit in the thread below,

I have no intention of allowing comments here to become the platform for hasty or ill-informed mudslinging (well-informed and creative mudslinging, perhaps … ).  Useful technical issues, questions, and comments all posed with a modicum of politeness and genuine interest are welcome and indeed encouraged– if you want to denigrate working scientists, you’re going to have to find another venue which tolerates such things, sorry.

And this is pretty much how things are going to go.  I will not, from now on, publish off-topic or mean-spirited comments. Full stop.

If you want to participate in the technical discussion of the science here, I welcome you to jump in.  If you’ve got questions — even very basic ones — I encourage you to speak up.  But I will not create a haven or venue for attacks on working scientists or other commentors who have a genuine interest in the science. I will endeavor to maintain the future tone and content, from both myself and any commentors, focused on the science.

Other things I will take a dim view of and I feel will lower the level of inquiry include: concern trolling, appeal to false authority, begging the question (in the proper sense), lies, and soft focus photos of unicorns.

Science is cool. Lets not lose track of that in the race to fill the internet with bile.


Written by delayedoscillator

October 9, 2009 at 12:29 pm

6 Responses

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  1. hehehe, Welcome… to the climate science denialism! 🙂

    I’m looking forward to reading your upcoming post on how field and lab dendrochronology is actually done 😉


    October 9, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    • Yeah, I need to finish that post before everyone is bored by all this 🙂


      October 9, 2009 at 6:55 pm

  2. Reposted from other thread at the hosts request.

    A couple suggestions. Some folks have asked me to have a look at your blog and recommend it. So far I like what I see and would add a few suggestions.

    1. I applaud your decision to create a civil comments section. the blog marketplace has plenty of places for people to vent. I see nothing morally wrong with venting, but it does get in the way of what YOU want to do in YOUR HOUSE. And this is your house.

    2. You apriori rule out any deragatory comments of ‘working scientists’ I suppose you meant to say “all scientists” even those who are retired. Further, I think you would do well to extend this to all people. Again, there are places where people like Lucia ( not a scientist), SteveMc, ( not a scientist), etc are trampled. And there are places where gavin and Mann and et all are trampled. It would be distinctive if you established a house where all such things are off limits.

    3. Your blog roll. Adding contrarian sites is not an endorsement. You should add some. Many of the skeptic sites have full blog rolls of non skeptic sites. For example early on I got WUWT to put Atmoz on the blog roll ( and vice versa). I hope that drove traffic to Atmoz because he struck me as a fine fellow and good student. Anyways people can judge for themselves. I think if you do get skeptic traffic ( especially the engineer types) they will quickly get that you are somebody to listen to and engage on a constructive basis. basically if you keep the discussion technical, answer questions, and rule the comments with an iron fist, most people will get the tone you want to set.
    If they like a little more flavor or color commentary there are places for that.

    4. Open your data and code. get in the habit of posting turn key code for every figure you post. That’s one thing that will attract those commentors who actually want to make a positive contribution. Frankly for folks like me it’s pretty much of a deal breaker. In some cases ( where you are working on code for publication) it can make sense to withhold it ( tamino has done this without complaint from me) I’d still advise to post it; but in general if I can’t get the data and can’t get the code, it’s not really science in my book.

    5. Post on CA, Lucias site, airvent. Doubtless some will throw a bunch of garbage at you. Just ignore it. If you do people will see that you exist above the mud slinging.

    6. Incourage guest posting. When you are just starting it is hard to keep the content fresh. and fresh content ( and/or deep debate) is what makes for an interesting site. Google knows this and sites are ranked ( quality score) based on things like repeat vistors and fresh content. If you want to really be bold, I mean really bold, invite Jeff Id to do a guest post and ask him to return the favor. Do the same with lucia and with St. mac.

    7. Do some personal posts to bust up the monotony and provide a personal flavor. You are anonymous, but have a look at lucia. utterly charming lady.. the cat stuff, her knitting, the haiku. I think that kind of humanizing of the anonymous voice can really go a long way to improved sustained readership.

    So, take what you want and leave the rest. have a nice day.


    Have fun.

    Steven Mosher

    October 23, 2009 at 8:18 pm

  3. Steve,

    Some of your points are well taken, and some are already in the works (including a new no tolerance policy on off topic comments).

    Let me note in passing, with respect to the idea of validating the tone of some of the people and sites you recommend, the following from Rob Wilson, posted at Climate Audit:

    “Finally, devote followers of this blog seem to be obsessed with an elevated MWP. It is stated so very often that we are “cherry picking” purposely to deflate the MWP. This is simply not the case. In fact, the fatal flaw in this blog and what keeps it from being a useful tool for the palaeoclimatic and other communities is its persistent and totally unnecessary negative tone and attitude, and the assumption that our intention is faulty and biased, which keeps real discourse from taking place.”



    October 25, 2009 at 3:12 pm

  4. You misunderstand. I am arguing that merely by adding people to the blogroll you do NOT endorse or validate them. The issue is getting you better scores for organic search. WUWT links to real climate. You think Anthony endorses it?

    [snip – hearsay]

    Steven Mosher

    October 26, 2009 at 5:02 am

    • Hi Steve,

      My blog roll will remain for sites I find useful and for those whose tone and approach I find advances, rather than lowers, the conversation. This looks to be an area where we’ll have to agree to disagree.


      October 26, 2009 at 11:21 am

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