the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

On the blogroll

Posted by Jeff Id on July 14, 2010

Bart Verheggen and I have had a few discussions on our views of climate politics.

Or maybe:

I dunno, but it’s been interesting.

Our blogging relationship started when I was directed to one of his posts which turned into the now famous unit root discussion.  Lucia covered it very well also.  Bart had no idea who I was, so when I linked to his post from the first Roman hammer gridded temperature post, he left this beautiful thing.

Now that’s funny. Directing people to my blog and tell them not to read my post. Aren’t people allowed to see some graphs of global average temperature? What are you afraid of?

The absolutely hilariously ironic thing about it was that the post was an open source gridded temperature calculation done here!!, that came up with a higher trend than the pro version while he accused me of being afraid of the pro version.  What are the odds??!!   What makes it better is that he was complaining that I had told Roman the cool part was in the comments.

The comments are 90% of blogs, but in this case it was more like 99.9%.  Not Bart’s fault, but that’s what happens.  Tom Fuller was at fault for starting it:

Tom Fuller had a link to a post which I believe you will find worth your time.

The post isn’t the point though, you don’t have to read it. The comments start with VS at the top and work through a very stats oriented thread. I’m reading it slowly but it’s really worth checking the comments.

I suppose it wasn’t the softest comment but I’m not that good at ‘sensitivity’.  hehe..  No offense was intended but he complained about telling people not to read his post while clearly not reading my post on which he commented.  Even more beautifully he stated ‘what are you afraid of’ on an Air Vent post which which by random happenstance happened to be an open source calculation of a higher trend than climate science would have calculated.

Gawd, blogging can be fun.

I’ve got a WWE wrestling midget story that’s just as impossibly nuts as that.  — no really, I do. I’m serious.

But Bart hasn’t figured out why we discuss the skeptic side of climate science.  Our thoughts are not within his realm of experience as  we can tell from his post here.  To him, it’s all anti-science propaganda.

The last few comments here from Bart have been trying to nail me into claiming that the socialist aspects of climate science are the reason I don’t agree with climate science.  Of course, like most of you, I don’t disagree with climate science.  I disagree with specific aspects of it.  I disagree with the magnitude and the proposed solution but only certain aspects of the science are full of it.

Bart doesn’t get us at all and that makes the situation kind of different from the norm in blogland.  He’s not as deeply afflicted with the hubris of the Real Climate crowd, his own issues are probably created by the propaganda of his daily comrades.

First, he’s been under the impression that we would disagree with everything coming out of climate science.  He really believes that.

Tom Fuller actually took the time to try and explain our/my position to Bart, but the community here is complex and many of our thoughts are equally nuanced.

Well, I hope you two settle your differences amicably. Jeff is not a denier of science and Bart may be running into linguistic filters here, although you’re sometimes quick to label me as well.

Tom’s right, I’m no fan of leftism and often apply lables.  What I am a fan of though is honesty and despite Bart’s obvious and a little seedy attempts to paint me into an anti-science corner, this seems to be an honest person.   I mean, he tells you what he thinks.  We’re not getting RC style anti-Bart for propaganda purposes, he really believes what he writes.

I looked for literally a year for a cliamtologist believer who you could trust the opinion of.  They are very difficult to find because of the unhealthy nature of the science.  Delayed Oscillator came close but kept clipping my comments, there was another one too but I lost track of them.  The first rule though is that these people are not qualified to clip our comments.  I will not accept or link to that kind of discussion – because I don’t want to read it, and Bart’s acceptance of differing opinion has gained my respect.

So Bart,  to his surprise I’m sure, is being added to my blogroll.   I will recommend his blog to those who need to hear the other side.

If you think this is making nice with him… no way and welcome to the Air Vent.  My blogroll is blogs I’ve read and read regularly.  There is no magic too them.  There are several other blogs that belong on it, but I hunt through the linked blogs to get to them.  Some of you don’t know that I read your stuff, because I rarely comment on what was read.  For instance I went to Lucia’s for most of a year through Climate Audit, and probably left one comment in that entire time.  A lurker with a blog — a loud one.

So in short, I think Bart is wrong on politics.  I think he’s prone to exaggerate the damage of climate change.  I think he’s overly certain of his conclusions.  I think he has no idea why we exist.  And I think his field doesn’t allow him to realize mistakes.  The climate hasn’t had time to prove a non-retired climatologist wrong,  and that builds a hubris where they don’t realize the error.  Engineering is not so forgiving — perhaps there is a blog post in that concept.

But I do think that he believes what he writes, and he seems honest in his opinions.   I’ve been looking for that for a long time.

So since my blogroll is blogs I read…and watch…. welcome to the Air Vent Bart.

32 Responses to “On the blogroll”

  1. Russ said

    HAHAHA, good Jeff, sort them out.

  2. Tom Bakewell said

    How about printing bumper stickers: “Put the Science back into Climate Science” or some such?

  3. Tom Fuller said

    One thing to remember in your discussions with Bart going forward is that his government and culture are basically what you would term ‘socialist’ in many ways, and it works for them. They are still democratic, they have a good standard of living, they make more money and live longer than we do here in the U.S., and when we start ranting about socialism they basically say ‘WTF?’ We like how we’re living…

    They don’t try and push their system on us. (It probably wouldn’t work–the central and northern European countries that make it work have special features we don’t have, and they understand that.) But when we talk about socialism we’re thinking of the blighted economies of eastern Europe under the Soviets, or Russia, or the tragedy of China after the war. Their picture, right or wrong, is vastly different. They hung on to free elections and free markets and built a better safety net. Very pragmatic, and like I said, it works pretty well for them.

  4. Barry Woods said

    Bart comes across as sincere with good intentions. Well done to engage in a sincere debate. the elite tribalism of ‘the few’ has deliberatly prevented this with denial or anti-science labels

  5. Jeff Id said

    #3 They don’t make more money than us. It’s another myth. Someone making 50k in the midwest pays very little tax in comparison to over there. Can you imagine a teacher living on 25 grand? We wouldn’t be able to eat and make a house payment here on that.

  6. Bart is the only ‘warmist’ who knows how to moderate a blog. He is a cool guy, but a warm cool guy nonetheless. And he chased away a few of the deniers, in the recent past.

  7. kkloor said


    How come every time I wander over here you’re ranting about socialists? Didn’t you see the movie Reds, with Warren Beatty? That was like in 1918, I think, or to my point, a very, very long time ago, when Americans were worried about socialism for real.

    But seriously, now this is something you can get your dander up:

    At least it should momentarily take your mind off the dastardly leftist/socialist plot by climate scientists to take over the world–in cahoots with the U.N., of course.

  8. Jeff Id said

    #7 Are you trying to give me a heart attack?!

  9. kkloor said

    Heh, heh. Just having some fun on a slow day.

    For a counter perspective from someone I respect deeply, this should slow your pulse down:

  10. Bart said

    Well, thanks for all the kind words about me.

    Those Simpson cartoons gave me a good laugh! When I lived in Canada I quickly found out that people always had that Simpson association with my name. Never happened in Holland.

    Regarding our first conversation, I later commented:
    “Fair enough. Just though it odd (the “you don’t have to read it” part) and wrote a quick murky reply.”
    I just responded to your comment, not to your post, which indeed I hadn’t read yet at that point (obviously…). But sure, it did reinforce the wisdom of “first count to ten before commenting”.

    I thought I was pretty clear that I don’t think that all skepticism is anti-science propaganda. (e.g. and, but apparently not clear enough.

    I didn’t try to nail you into anything. Just saw your ranting and raving about socialism and how that’s the awful thing about the climate science community, which raised an eyebrow for me, as in, what the heck is socialist about the science?!? You seemed to confuse politics and science, and our little discussion reinforced that state of confusion. At least that’s how I see it. You seem quick to see shots taken at you, but apparently fail to see the shots you deliver to others.

    This discussion reminds me of what Eric Steig once said to you (you don’t have to read the post; the interesting part is this comment ):
    “Although I’m on record for saying you are crazy , I continue to be impressed by your honest presentation of results you come up with.”
    I can relate to that.

    Btw, I’ve removed (parts of) comments that I deemed offensive or wildly running of topic (usually after a warning) (as do e.g. McI and Watts btw), but I won’t clip a comment merely because I disagree. That’s not why RC clips comments either: They clip to avoid discussions from being derailed by noise (e.g. long refuted talking points or insinuations of wrongdoing). The problem is, their idea of noise is not the same as your idea of noise.

    I’ve really had to consider how to handle comments on my blog after it attracted more discussion. There is no ‘right’ way to do it; any choice you make has pro’s and cons, and lambasting others for making different moderation choices appears too absolutist of a way of thinking about it imho. I don’t like thinking in absolutes, as you may have noticed.

    As for climatologists and their supporters who you could trust. I’m still flabbergasted about this deep held distrust for an entire community of loose knit, stubborn, skeptic (in the real sense of the word) scientists. I find it entirely irrational. In this post ( I lay out what I consider common sense hints to assess someone’s credibility on a complex scientific issue.

    Perhaps I could plug a few names that I think you may appreciate reading:

    Michael Tobis ( has a very good overview of the science, and is painfully honest about his opinions. He’s not trying to fluff them up, and is one of the few bloggers out there who has no trouble saying “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong”. He often writes about media and policy relevant issues more so than about the science itself. A very sharp thinker.

    Robert Grumbine ( is another blogger well worth reading. He writes mostly about basic scientific issues from an educational point of view, and is very non-confrontational.

    James Annan ( Amidst nice pictures he has good analysis of climate sensitivity and probabilistic climate prediction. He’s a straight shooter, not afraid to call a spade a spade, whatever the color.

    You’re probably already reading Zeke Hausfather and Judith Curry, and I think you have established some common ground with, and respect for, Eric Steig.

  11. willard said


    I thought Jeff Id was playing the role of Bart.

  12. Barry Woods said

    Just on my way back from the guardian debate! it will not be a slow blog day when the video goes online. Trevor davis eventual admission that Muir Russell had not seen Phil Jones after the enquiry panel had formed was painful to watch. Typing this on a mobile phone Fred Pearce and Steve Mc came across very well

  13. Jeff Id said

    #12 drop a link when you can find it.

  14. AMac said

    Bart #10, On “who should you trust?” —

    It’s important to me that the scientists in a field aspire to appropriate high standards of conduct. They will often fall short–being human–but I expect (1) good conduct, (2) acknowledgment and correction of errors, when they occur, and (3) improvement over time.

    This is my biggest problem with some of the thought leaders in some important subdisciplines of climate science.

    “High standards” were memorably summarized in an address given by Richard Feynman that’s come to be titled Cargo Cult Science. In particular, see the paragraph beginning “Now it behooves me” and the two that follow.

    The two-paragraph account beginning “We have learned a lot from experience” on replication of Millikan’s oil-drop experiment is a wonderful description of groupthink, from before the invention of the term.

    From reading your essay referenced in #10, Who to believe?, I think it’s clear that you find that climate science holds its head high, with respect to the field’s striving to live by Feynman’s principles (ideals that we all accept in the abstract, I think).

    Many “skeptics,” “lukewarmers,” and “denialists” disagree with your sunny view.

    I freely admit that much of what passes for “science-based dissent” on this point has little or no merit. I fear, however, that advocates of the AGW Consensus often succumb to logic like this:

    “I can pick out weak anti-Consensus arguments and dismiss them, thus most or all anti-Consensus arguments are weak. This strengthens the case that my pro-Consensus views are correct.”

    In my opinion, climate scientists need to figure out a way to overcome their bunker mentality, and foster a constructively skeptical attitude towards one another’s work. Advocates passionately claim that this is already the case among productive journeyman (& journeywoman) scientists. That may be true–but all too often, it is not the “face” that your specialty presents to scientifically-literate lay people, through the activities of your profession’s most prominent scientist-advocate-spokespeople.

    The point of taking the time to write this comment isn’t to convince you that this perspective is correct. Rather, it’s to illustrate that certain outsiders’ critiques are based on scientific principles. You (plural) should be speaking the same language as some of your critics, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. Why is that?

  15. dougie said

    AMac #14

    amen to that.

  16. Tony Hansen said

    ….climate scientists need to figure out a way to overcome their bunker mentality – AMac

    Was there a ‘start date’ for this bunker mentality or was it always there?
    With some of the personality types involved it seems they may have lived their whole lives in just that way.

  17. AMac said

    By the way, Bart in #10 was quoted by Keith Kloor at C-a-s on RC’s comment policy. Bart noted,

    [’s moderators clip comments] to avoid discussions from being derailed by noise (e.g. long refuted talking points or insinuations of wrongdoing). The problem is, their idea of noise is not the same as your [Jeff Id’s] idea of noise.

    This is a combination of (a) a tautology, and (b) an assertion that is largely unevaluable (since we don’t have a representative picture of failed comments).

    Essentially every blogger cuts what they tell themselves is “noise,” to the extent they moderate. Are all definitions of “noise” equivalent? Here are two.

    (1) “Noise” consists of ‘long-winded talking points’ and ‘insinuations of wrongdoing’.

    (2) “Noise” consists of ‘long-winded talking points,’ ‘insinuations of wrongdoing,’ and ‘concise, logical, civil, well-structured arguments that risk persuading some readers that reasoned dissent from my views is possible.’

    See the difference?

    Clearly, some dissenting comments that are concise, logical, etc. pass RC’s moderation. From what I have read (no links to hand though), the evidence is persuasive that many such comments fail at RC. Perhaps most.

    More subtly, some thoughtful people who dissent from parts of the AGW Consensus view are deterred from composing comments and submitting them to RC, considering its tilted playing field.

    It’s the right of bloggers to do as they see fit with their comments system. Of high-traffic pro-AGW Consensus blogs, Bart’s may be the only one that doesn’t use an RC-like definition of “noise” — kudos! Anyway, this certainly isn’t about “censorship,” as anyone can start a blog (even me). So, no complaints.

    But I find don’t find descriptions like Bart’s to be terribly informative.

  18. David Jay said

    But it’s worse than that AMac – the bloggers at RC will go after an individual’s argument and then not allow the individual’s reasoned response out of moderation, leaving the audience to assume that there is no answer whatsoever to the blogger’s challeng. This can’t be characterized as “noise”, despite Bart’s assertions to the contrary.

    If they let SOME of the reply through and snipped the parts they felt were tedious or ad-hom. If they acknowledged that there was a reply but they chose not to release it. Or if they linked to the place where the rebuttal is posted.

    But a failure to acknowledge any sort of a response after a direct challenge is deceitful (I use the word carefully and specifically).

  19. DeWitt Payne said

    You should maybe look at Science of Doom and Barrett Bellamy Climate as possible additions to your blogroll. I think they’re good technical resources. Barrett Bellamy is a little more technical than Science of Doom.

  20. kuhnkat said

    Tom fuller,

    it is easy for people from countries like Bart’s to forget who is spending all the money keeping them fat dumb and happy. As the US sinks into the Socialist morass of hasbeen they will no longer have us as a crutch to maintain their way of life. It will really suck to be them at that time, but, it is going to really suck to be us also.

  21. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    I was reading your post without problem until I came to:
    “I think he has no idea why we exist.”

    What? What does that mean?

  22. Jeff Id said

    #21, How can someone be skeptical of the consensus. What is wrong with these people.

  23. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    Jeff, #22,

    OK. I thought you were referring to profound existentialist philosophical issues, rather than why there are people who are skeptical of the climate consensus! Glad it was the simpler issue.

  24. Jeff Id said

    hehe, I’m a simple guy.

  25. Bart,
    I think you have an overinflated sense of RealClimate being nice guys and ‘on the science’. They are just propagandists beyond the pale, although in your rosy world-view, I can see why it should be so difficult to see.

    But, and this is an important ‘but’, I like a few people there. Maybe that ‘few’ list would whittle down to one person.

    Michael Tobis, likewise, is an out-an-out propagandist, in the garb of a ‘reasonable warm dude’. He comes across as a nice guy, and he is, per Tom Fuller. But propaganda – the selling of a certain perspective packaged and hidden as something else – that is what he does.

  26. stan said

    Tom Fuller,

    You wrote: “they make more money and live longer than we do here in the U.S.”

    Wrong. We have substantially higher incomes measured by purchasing power and we have higher life expectancies for people who are 65. When you account for the fact that we subsidize their healthcare system in a major way and provide their national defense for them, the notion that they have a sustainable system is laughable. Without their Uncle Sam’s subsidies and protection, they’d see a markedly reduced standard of living.

  27. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Bart @ Post #10:

    I think that you will not be able to engage any thinking skeptics with the sketchy and generalized comments that I see in Post #10. I also find some of the replies to your post here missing the point.

    What is required to engage is to discuss specific issues of climate science – and in detail. It would be a pleasant and perhaps informing moment to have consensus leaning scientists and advocates come to skeptic blogs and stay on track in a discussion of a given climate science paper. So many times I see scientists and advocates and scientists/advocates come to skeptic blogs and then avoid a detailed scientific discussion of the topic at hand and instead commence a lecture about the bad behavior, as they see it, of the posters. I have seen other blogs on subjects not related to climate science where a truly informed poster with a countervailing POV comes on the scene and avoids any diversions from posters and makes her/his points – so I know it can be done.

    The performance of a number of climate scientists of the consensus view on these skeptics blogs surely does not counter the generalized view of many skeptics that there is not anything there. I judge also that most skeptics would agree with the warming that the straight physics of atmospheric GHGs influence on surface temperatures have. It is the validity of the arguments of feedbacks, the effects of clouds on climate models, the uncertainty of the data and forecasts and the very less certain predictions of detrimental consequences of warming and the nearly total ignoring of any positive outcomes for AGW that are in play for the thoughtful skeptic. Therefore when a consensus scientist comes on the scene and cannot get past the straight physics arguments for GHGs influence on surface temperatures, I wonder where the there is also.

  28. Kenneth Fritsch said

    DeWitt Payne @ Post #19:

    Thanks for the links.

  29. PaulM said

    So is Bart going to return the compliment and put Jeff Id on his blogroll?

  30. Jeff Id said

    #29, He has to figure us out first.

  31. Bart said


    You say lots of thoughtful things in 14. Sometimes criticism may be dismissed all too casually for example, by equating it with the most egregiously wrong talking points.


    If MT is selling anything, it is scientific literacy and a scientific understanding of the climate issues. He has often said though: “Our product sucks” as in, people don’t like it (easy to misinterpret and poke fun of, admittedly).

  32. William Newman said

    AMac (#17) wrote “This is a combination of (a) a tautology, and (b) an assertion that is largely unevaluable (since we don’t have a representative picture of failed comments).”

    Actually, it seems to me that sometimes this claim can be evaluable just from the comments that are let through.

    In particular, note that in the C-a-S thread Keith Kloor was appealing to this claim to justify his fond description of RC huge comments sections as a “discussion,” refuting my criticism of moderation policy revealed by the first 50 comments in . I was flabbergasted that Keith Kloor seemed to think that Verheggen’s policy either addressed my criticism of the pattern in those 50 comments (that the comments are evidence that RC comment moderators censor strong criticism while allowing easy-to-refute criticism). I am indeed flabbergasted that he thinks Verheggen’s policy is even consistent with those 50 comments. RealClimate currently says “server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems” so I can’t check how many examples there might be. From my comment at C-a-S, though, I am reminded that one of the 50 comments was #22, “LOL I stopped reading at ‘thorough'”. How can one claim with a straight face that a moderation policy which chooses that comment as one of the first criticisms to let through has anything to do with reducing noise?

    Of course, C-A-S is Keith Kloor’s blog, and he gets to set policy, and he seems to do a reasonably good job of moderation, and moderation is a kind of work that I have zero enthusiasm for, so he gets a lot of slack in my book for doing it. And I was not flabbergasted by his policy ruling that yet another argument about CAGWer comment moderation fatuity would be out of place in that comment thread. Indeed, his ruling seems appropriate (both because I think that’s a sound policy in that thread, and because it’s broadly consistent with his policy in other threads, though not entirely consistent with his choice earlier in that thread to praise RC discussions). So it seemed proper and sensible to honor Keith Kloor’s policy of shutting up about the argument. And I figured that that should mean really shutting up, not just making a parting shot about how flabbergasted I was and then shutting up. But now that the argument has come up here, remarking (venting?:-) about it here seems appropriate.

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