the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

The Real Winners

Posted by Jeff Id on April 24, 2010

Guest post by Tom Fuller

(In the back of my mind I have this image of Lucia Liljegren sitting somewhere in Illinois thinking, ‘I know who Tom will pair me with, and I know exactly what he’s going to say. I hope he adds something interesting…’

There are two places on the Internet today where qualified people from both sides of the debate on climate change can actually have a civil discussion about issues of scientific substance. Those places are ‘My View on Climate Change’ run by Bart Verheggen and ‘The Blackboard,’ run by Lucia Liljegren. Coincidentally, they are both the ‘kindest’ bloggers on either side of the issue. By kind, I don’t mean they are marshmallows. Lucia has had comment wars on Climate Audit with scientists that are long and heated. And Bart Verheggen holds much the same opinion of me as does Tim Lambert–that I’m wrong, and dangerous to boot. But he’ll have long, patient and civil discussions with me about the error of my ways and never once discuss my ancestry, personal habits or probable destination.

However, both are civil, interesting and on topic. Lucia Liljegren is a Lukewarmer (she may have had something to do with inventing the name, but I’m not sure), who like me believes that global warming is real, but that alarmists have forged way ahead of the science in their claims. Bart Verheggen is a climate scientist specialized in the study of aerosols.

Lucia is impossible to dislike, I think–even Sod seems to have fun over there. Not many bloggers post the occasional haiku. Bart, who is from the Netherlands, is the perfect host and seems to wish he could take everyone out for a beer or six while we resolve our differences. It’s not a coincidence that my co-author Steve Mosher went to Lucia first with the Climategate files (I’m not offended–I would have, too), and it’s not a coincidence that Bart’s blog was the setting for a dramatic discussion of statistical propriety of analyses performed on temperature data series. That particular post, with its 1,000 plus comments, will be a classic in the annals of post-Climategate discussions, and should be published by itself–even with Sod’s comments.

Lucia’s Blackboard has archives going back to 2007. Bart doesn’t have a listed archive, so I don’t know how long he’s been in the biz.

Both have blogrolls–Lucia linking to non-consensus sites and Bart to consensus blogs.

Commenting is much less pressured than on many other sites–one reason why so much intelligent discussion takes place on the two blogs.

Neither blogger seems to have a fixed publishing schedule, but Lucia seems to post more frequently than Bart.

In my opinion, Bart made a serious mistake by instituting a comments policy after that incredible 1,000 comment post, especially because he’s apparently busy enough to not be able to clear comments quickly. This makes all the difference in having a real time discussion on a weblog, sort of like the difference between playing outdoor street chess in front of a bus station with an audience and playing long distance chess via snail mail with an elderly uncle. Doesn’t quite have the same kick.

I don’t have much more to put in an analysis–just that if anyone I cared about (and who had a good scientific grounding) all of a sudden took an interest in climate change, I would hope they chanced on these two blogs first to get a lay of the land.

Recent posts on My View On Climate Change:

1. The nature of blogging (“having a beer”) vs the nature of science (commentary on difference between blogging and scientific publishing)

2. The dietician responds (trying to recast the discussion on statistical analysis in terms more people can understand)

3. Recent changes in the sun, CO2 and temperature (Criticism of skeptic attempts to link solar variance with temperature changes)

4. CRU inquiry: Published results still credible; focus on Phil Jones misplaced (Celebration of Oxburgh inquire report)

5. A ‘rooty’ solution to my weight gain problem (trying to recast the discussion on statistical analysis in terms more people can understand)

6. Slow moderation (out of office alert)

7. Comment policy (following the 1,000 comment post, Bart instituted a comments policy)

8. The value of ‘open’ debate (discussion of whether or not to institute a comments policy)

9. What do we know about climate change? (reposting of You Tube video from Chris Fields of Stanford University)

10. The relevance of rooting for a root unit (discussion of issues raised in the 1,000 comment post)

Recent posts on The Blackboard:

1. Blagojevich Defense Filing Leak (non climate change post on the joys of Illinois politics)

2. Judy Curry interviewed by Kloor (reposting of interview with Dr. Judith Curry)

3. Parody of parody (commentary on YouTube taking down all Downfall voice-overs in relation to Michael Mann’s demand for withdrawal of parody song Hide the Decline)

4. Hide the Decline II (Discussion of Michael Mann’s threatened lawsuit over parody song Hide the Decline)

5. He-e-e-e’s Back! (Tom Chalko) (Media criticism of Tom Chalko of CBS)

6. Comparing global land/ocean reconstructions (guest post analysing temperature datasets)

7. Chaos/Open Thread (Discussion of the Lorenz Attractor)

8. HadCrut March 0.566C: 2nd warmest March (Monthly posting of released temperature data from Hadley)

9. NOAA March Temperature Anom: 0.7735C (Monthly posting of released temperature data from NOAA)

10. Oh the horror! (Spam blog software) (Discussion of software allowing the creation of automated ‘spam’ weblogs)

The Real Winners
(In the back of my mind I have this image of Lucia Liljegren sitting somewhere in Illinois thinking, ‘I know who Tom will pair me with, and I know exactly what he’s going to say. I hope he adds something interesting…’
There are two places on the Internet today where qualified people from both sides of the debate on climate change can actually have a civil discussion about issues of scientific substance. Those places are ‘My View on Climate Change’ run by Bart Verheggen and ‘The Blackboard,’ run by Lucia Liljegren. Coincidentally, they are both the ‘kindest’ bloggers on either side of the issue. By kind, I don’t mean they are marshmallows. Lucia has had comment wars on Climate Audit with scientists that are long and heated. And Bart Verheggen holds much the same opinion of me as does Tim Lambert–that I’m wrong, and dangerous to boot. But he’ll have long, patient and civil discussions with me about the error of my ways and never once discuss my ancestry, personal habits or probable destination.
However, both are civil, interesting and on topic. Lucia Liljegren is a Lukewarmer (she may have had something to do with inventing the name, but I’m not sure), who like me believes that global warming is real, but that alarmists have forged way ahead of the science in their claims. Bart Verheggen is a climate scientist specialized in the study of aerosols.
Lucia is impossible to dislike, I think–even Sod seems to have fun over there. Not many bloggers post the occasional haiku. Bart, who is from the Netherlands, is the perfect host and seems to wish he could take everyone out for a beer or six while we resolve our differences. It’s not a coincidence that my co-author Steve Mosher went to Lucia first with the Climategate files (I’m not offended–I would have, too), and it’s not a coincidence that Bart’s blog was the setting for a dramatic discussion of statistical propriety of analyses performed on temperature data series. That particular post, with its 1,000 plus comments, will be a classic in the annals of post-Climategate discussions, and should be published by itself–even with Sod’s comments.
Lucia’s Blackboard has archives going back to 2007. Bart doesn’t have a listed archive, so I don’t know how long he’s been in the biz.
Both have blogrolls–Lucia linking to non-consensus sites and Bart to consensus blogs.
Commenting is much less pressured than on many other sites–one reason why so much intelligent discussion takes place on the two blogs.
Neither blogger seems to have a fixed publishing schedule, but Lucia seems to post more frequently than Bart.
In my opinion, Bart made a serious mistake by instituting a comments policy after that incredible 1,000 comment post, especially because he’s apparently busy enough to not be able to clear comments quickly. This makes all the difference in having a real time discussion on a weblog, sort of like the difference between playing outdoor street chess in front of a bus station with an audience and playing long distance chess via snail mail with an elderly uncle. Doesn’t quite have the same kick.
I don’t have much more to put in an analysis–just that if anyone I cared about (and who had a good scientific grounding) all of a sudden took an interest in climate change, I would hope they chanced on these two blogs first to get a lay of the land.
Recent posts on My View On Climate Change:
1. The nature of blogging (“having a beer”) vs the nature of science (commentary on difference between blogging and scientific publishing)
2. The dietician responds (trying to recast the discussion on statistical analysis in terms more people can understand)
3. Recent changes in the sun, CO2 and temperature (Criticism of skeptic attempts to link solar variance with temperature changes)
4. CRU inquiry: Published results still credible; focus on Phil Jones misplaced (Celebration of Oxburgh inquire report)
5. A ‘rooty’ solution to my weight gain problem (trying to recast the discussion on statistical analysis in terms more people can understand)
6. Slow moderation (out of office alert)
7. Comment policy (following the 1,000 comment post, Bart instituted a comments policy)
8. The value of ‘open’ debate (discussion of whether or not to institute a comments policy)
9. What do we know about climate change? (reposting of You Tube video from Chris Fields of Stanford University)
10. The relevance of rooting for a root unit (discussion of issues raised in the 1,000 comment post)
Recent posts on The Blackboard:
1. Blagojevich Defense Filing Leak (non climate change post on the joys of Illinois politics)
2. Judy Curry interviewed by Kloor (reposting of interview with Dr. Judith Curry)
3. Parody of parody (commentary on YouTube taking down all Downfall voice-overs in relation to Michael Mann’s demand for withdrawal of parody song Hide the Decline)
4. Hide the Decline II (Discussion of Michael Mann’s threatened lawsuit over parody song Hide the Decline)
5. He-e-e-e’s Back! (Tom Chalko) (Media criticism of Tom Chalko of CBS)
6. Comparing global land/ocean reconstructions (guest post analysing temperature datasets)
7. Chaos/Open Thread (Discussion of the Lorenz Attractor)
8. HadCrut March 0.566C: 2nd warmest March (Monthly posting of released temperature data from Hadley)
9. NOAA March Temperature Anom: 0.7735C (Monthly posting of released temperature data from NOAA)

10. Oh the horror! (Spam blog software) (Discussion of software allowing the creation of automated ‘spam’ weblogs)


10 Responses to “The Real Winners”

  1. michel said

    The thing about Lucia is the quality of her mind. Yes, the approach is really refreshing compared to the pointless confrontational style of most public climate discussions, open minded, even handed, and within the boundaries of normal robust discussions. But its the mastery of the tools of analysis, and the logical rigor that puts Lucia in a very small group. The only other blogger with the same detailed mastery of the chosen tools, and the same ability to drill down to the issues, is Mcintyre. Mcintyre has chosen to focus on the proxy issues, which involve much more material and a much more complex process of disentangling of the often willfully concealed evidence, and the topic arguably has more general implications for the AGW argument, and so has led to more confrontations with the climate establishment. Because of the wide implications of the validity of the proxy reconstructions his results have had hugely more impact. But the quality of mind one finds on Lucia’s blog is recognizably in the same league. A rare pleasure to watch it in action.

  2. Josualdo said

    Thanks. This was really useful.

  3. Hoi Polloi said

    Unfortunately Bart Verheggen allowed to degrade this epic thread into the usual pig wrestling with the Tamino Trolls. He should have closed the thread when VS had left the building. But hey, he is a AGW proponent after all, probably he think it´s wise to spam this thread in order to spoil VS´ messages=

  4. stan said

    I was appalled by Bart’s attitude when he came over to Fuller’s blog. His position was the classic — most scientists agree and we’re all really, really smart, so you non-scientists have no business not taking our word for everything. I was so put off, I’ve never bothered with his blog. I don’t know if he’s up to the challenge (we know Gavin’s not), but it would be nice to have someone on the alarmist side try to address the gobsmacking level of incompetence that underlies the science. They don’t take temperatures properly, they butcher the stats and computer code, quality control is a disaster, they game the assessment process, they game the publication process, they don’t share data, code or methods, and no one ever bothers to check, audit, or replicate anyone else’s work. It’s certainly no way to run a railroad.

  5. Tom Fuller said

    Stan, Judith Curry is doing what you ask. She’s going to need beaucoup support to survive the consequences. Put your money where your mouth is and back her up.

  6. Chuckles said

    Tom, I must say that while I agree with you in part, my sympathies are with Stans comments.

    Bart is an absolute gentleman, but for me, way too strongly wedded to the consensus, come what may. The work by VS was most interesting, but it was not the moderation that dropped the ball, it was the asymmetric reception of a very interesting subject that was perceived as ‘a threat’.
    For me, as the old song goes, ‘the pig got up and slowly walked away’.

    The Blackboard by contrast, has a far more neutral and lighter feel to everything.

    I’m sure many, if not most of the posters here are solidly supportive of Judith in her initiatives.

  7. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    Hard for anyone to complain about Bart and Lucia, although Bart’s new comment policy may not be the best idea. While I disagree with Bart on the urgency of public response to CO2 emissions, I have great respect for his willingness to allow and respond to comments that state positions contrary to his own. Bravo Bart!

    Ah, that other climate related blogs could emulate these two. Too much to hope for I guess.

  8. steven mosher said

    For the record: Bender and I “discovered” Lucia on CA and instantly fell in love with her. She’s a tiger. So with our blessing she started her own blog, basically cause she wanted to discuss thermo ( as in second law) and thats not a topic on CA. She regularly beats up boys and makes them cry. But tammy has a secret crush on her:

    But since he looks like kuato, he has no chance

    somewhere on Lucias you’ll find the history of Lukewarmer. it started on CA, hurricane thread. it wasnt me or bender or Lucia who coined the term.

    Bart? good name for limericks

  9. Pompous Git said

    I seem to recall Dave Dardinger referring to myself and Hans Erren as lukewarmers on the Climate Change Debate List around 2004.

  10. Tom,

    Thanks for the kind words. I’m surprised to see my blog celebrated as one of the ‘real winners’.

    About my comment policy though: You seem to be under the impression that all comments now have to be manually approved by me before appearing, but they do not. Approval is only needed when a comment is flagged (mostly for a good, sometimes for a silly reason), or when a repeat offender is put on moderation. So the comment policy is really only a ‘code of conduct’.

    Stan,
    “gobsmacking level of incompetence that underlies the science” well, nuff said, right? How do you expect someone to constructively engage with you about the science if you say things like that?

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