the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

The Air Vent on Moderation

Posted by Jeff Id on April 3, 2012

Well in 3 1/2 years of blogging, millions of views and 45000 comments, the Air Vent is now comment moderated. This situation was caused by a single individual, who’s repetitive nonsense commentary and name changing bypassed the spam filter.   Doug accomplished all of this while claiming to have overturned basic thermodynamics without a single equation or any apparent recognition of where his blathering contradicts thermodynamics.

We will no longer discuss or even acknowledge his fake radiation nonsense here.  You may however, politely tell him he is not welcome here below.    If Doug decides to accept our wishes, I will again turn off moderation of comments.

Jeff Condon

35 Responses to “The Air Vent on Moderation”

  1. j ferguson said


    This seems unfortunate. i assume it isn’t easier, or as easy, to simply put cottonmouth (oh naughty me) on moderation until he gets over his publication.

  2. kim2ooo said

    Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

  3. steveta_uk said

    Jeff, I’ve been astonished at your patience over the last few months, in particular when sticking with the “Fun Stuff” thread for well over 1000 messages in a vain attempt to make someone see sense.

    It’s sad that it has come to this, but I don’t see that you really had any option.


  4. Steveta,

    I was too patient and too annoyed at the same time. Our one sided discussion chased away the main readers although I cannot blame them.

  5. omanuel said

    I respect your decision, Jeff, but it must be difficult when major parts of mainstream science are so seriously flawed.

  6. Mark T said

    I should start spamming a bunch of inane, meaningless posts knowing that you’re going to read them all… oh wait Omanuel… 😉


  7. Jeff Condon said

    Doug just needs to go away. I have been too patient and am sick of the stupidity of the discussion. Nothing works with the guy.

    He has plenty of other space on the internet to attempt to pollute peoples minds.

  8. stevefitzpatrick said

    Unfortunate but probably better, especially for Doug himself, since he is wasting a huge amount of time spouting the same non-sense over and over. Some people just can’t cope with reality; there is probably no way to help Doug very much, but it surely does him no good to facilitate his ravings.

  9. Jeff Condon said


    Doug killed the level of commentary here. It ain’t fun bloggin to nobody and I just chucked another comment by him in the trash. Some people aren’t too good with hints.

  10. clt510 said

    SteveF, not even the same nonsense over and over, different nonsense over time.

  11. stevefitzpatrick said

    Can’t you just put Doug on moderation?

  12. Jeff Condon said

    #11, Nope, did that. He just changes names and IP addresses.

    In addition to his other flaws, he seems to have little respect for others wishes.

  13. Jeff,
    it is ironic that it was your technical readership, lack of moderation and the free flow of dialogue that probably attracted him in the first place, Let’s hope you can get back to normal soon.

    • It is kind of up to Doug now. Although he did come here disparaging the crowd’s ability for which he was handed his hat. I just wish he would keep his stomping around to other blogs and let us alone.

  14. RomanM said

    if we no longer pay attention to him,, after a hopefully short time, he may move on and things will get back to gold ole tAV. 🙂

    There seems to be a lot of junk science from the climate sector coming out these days which needs fixin’… .

  15. lucia said

    What a pain! Admittedly, I missed the excitement of Doug. I may have to pour myself a glass of wine, go back and read a few.

    Can’t you just put Doug on moderation?

    By selfhosting, I have many more options than Jeff does. Mind you, self hosting has it’s down side….

    Still, if I wanted to I could moderate all new IPs. Some regulars would get moderated on an on/off basis, but generally, they’d get several comments in a row through before their IP changed. I could also do a variety of things by…well.. coding a plugin. But that’s not possible if you use WP hosting.

    At a blog I read (Volokh Conspiracy) a troll resorted to using TOR to comment. (Oddly, blocking comments from those using TOR would be a snap– provided someone implemented the block. But I don’t think any plugins do yet. If a troll started hitting me with TOR, that would stop. Fast.)

    • “I may have to pour myself a glass of wine, go back and read a few.”

      Don’t waste your time. The threads are endless and stupid and you will be short a few braincells when it finishes.

  16. TGSG said

    Let’s hope it’s all for the better Jeff. I love your musings and look forward to new posts.

  17. Doug “Occupy Blog Street” Cotton! What a tremendous guy! People will write songs about him, no doubt..

    At Science of Doom I have had exactly the same problem.

    The best part is Doug claims his valiant presentation of thermodynamic truth is being repressed – but in fact he just repeats the same stuff 100 times. And after 30 times you block out the rest for repetition. The first 30 repetitions are still there on your blog so nothing is repressed.

    In essence he demands you turn over your blog to him.

    I even wrote a whole article on Doug “occupy blog street” Cotton, linking back to his blog so all interested parties could see what rubbish he wrote – on *his* blog. But he threatened a lawsuit!

    I’m sure Doug would be unhappy if everyone jammed the phone lines to his Australian dental software business all day long to complain about something to do with dental software he sells. But it’s ok for him to write non-stop drivel at every climate blog on the planet until every single one introduces moderated comments.

    Well done, Doug. The world is proud of you.

  18. steveta_uk said

    Something as relatively uncontroversial as the UAH temperature numbers is attracting lots of loons over at Roy’s site.

    And guess who’s in there promoting his daft theories?

  19. steveta_uk said

    ScienceOfDoom said:

    The best part is Doug claims his valiant presentation of thermodynamic truth is being repressed – but in fact he just repeats the same stuff 100 times. And after 30 times you block out the rest for repetition. The first 30 repetitions are still there on your blog so nothing is repressed.

    You’ve not been keeping up. Check out the Fun Stuff thread – well over 1000 entries, and to the end Doug failed to listen to anything.

  20. Jim said

    People like him make it hard on legitimate climate science critics/skeptics.

  21. stevefitzpatrick said

    Jim #20,

    Yep, that is the problem. The nut-cakes (on both sides) inhibit rational discourse.

  22. Have you guys noticed who dear Dougy has climbed into bed with? – no less that John O’Sullivan’s “Slayers” and their science(fiction?) publishing company Principia Scientific International – his perfect bed-fellows.

    For more on that set-up see Professor Judith Curry’s “Letter to the dragon slayers” thread, especially the comments by Andrew Skolnick, several of the “Slayers” and me, perhaps starting at

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

  23. KR said

    Jeff Condon – You have my sympathies. Mr. Cotton has done much the same at multiple blogs, including Roy Spencers blog and SkepticalScience. My sympathies for the added workload of moderation.

    As Fred Singer (who I personally rarely agree with) noted in, these 2nd law thermodynamic folks give skeptics a bad reputation. Unfortunately, such people ( simply cannot be convinced.

  24. He has been a thread bomber in other blogs not mentioned here to the point that he is banned or put on moderation.

    The man needs to stop behaving like a fanatic.

  25. hunter said

    It is your blog. You should be able to enforce the behavior you wish. You are clearly not running a CS or Joe Romm type of blog. Keep up the good work.

  26. Ed Moran. said

    Sad but it had to happen!.

    Don’t beat yourself up. You went the extra yard but it had to be stopped. Let’s hope the participation soon improves.

    As for Doug, I feel nothing but sorrow: the boy ain’t well.

  27. Ok I see that he needs a shoutdown.

    He is a dormant member in my climate skeptic forum who is also a member of PSI AND comments in a science blog I help moderate.

    I have access in all three and will especially ask John O’Sullivan to ask him to respect your position as a blog owner.

    You can approve or delete this comment as you wish.

  28. Anthony Watts said

    I’ve thought about Doug Cotton much like I think about Professor John A. Davison , who had a brief stint as a “occupy blog streeter” touting Susuki and Flannery and other “luminaries”.

    this from

    John A. Davison orders a pizza
    A play in one act

    [The stage is split in half. On the left, Davison’s study–a room full of books, piles of books, thousands upon thousands of books. In the center a desk covered in manuscripts. Davison occupies the chair, quill in hand, dashing out another screed. Outside it is snowing, or raining, or sleeting.

    On the right, a telephone on a card table. Seated at the table a youth, gender unimportant. Maintains perfect stillness until the phone rings–as it must.]

    Davison: It is a frigid night, and possibly raining, snowing, sleeting perhaps. In five strokes of the quill I will have completely gutted Darwinism and replaced it with Bergism! Ah… but I am faint with hunger. To the telephone, anon! [He digs under stacks of manuscripts to find the phone. Success.] Hello, Domino’s? I’d like to order a pizza. [to self] Damn these tiny buttons.

    Youth: [picking up phone] Thank you for calling Domino’s. How may I be of service?

    Davison: I would like to order a pepperoni pizza. Extra cheese. Oh, and with olives.

    Youth: Is that all?

    Davison: That’s about it. What’s the total?

    Youth: Twelve eighty including tax. Your phone number?

    Davison: 555-6219. 232 4th Ave southeast… My name is John… John Davison… John A. Davison… I will not soon be forgotten. [awkward pause] I have my own blog.

    Youth: [nonplussed] Uh… great. That pizza will be delivered in about a half hour. [tries to hang up]

    Davison: Hold on there, youngster. Is it finished yet?

    Youth: We’ve hardly had–

    Davison: Okay… well… is it finished now?

    Youth: Sir, I haven’t even called the order in–

    Davison: How about now?

    Youth: No.

    Davison: Now?

    Youth: Still no.

    Davison: I’ve changed my mind. I want salami instead of pepperoni. Genoa salami. With the fatty parts cut out.

    Youth: I’m afraid we’re–

    Davison: Is it done yet?

    Youth: Look, Mister John A. Davison, you have no idea how this works. Pizza doesn’t appear magically when you say the word. It’s a process. It takes time. Twenty minutes, plus driving time. Got it? Goodbye. [Youth and Davison hang up simultaneously]

    Davison:[Davison picks up the phone again, dialing.] I have completely eviscerated Darwinism, you know.

    Youth: You again? Look, Mr. Davison, the cheese is finished, and it’s going in the oven, so–

    Davison: Is it done?

    Youth: Uh, no.

    Davison: Then we have time to chat. You see, we deal here with fundamental differences in the way we view the world which I believe are rigidly fixed in our genome or, if I may use the term, “prescribed.” I know that doen’t sound right but I have no other explanation. There is also the problem of pride. Does anyone really expect those who have dedicated their professional lives to a phantom to easily come to grips with just that? Yet that is exactly what the situation boils down to. Can you imagine Dawkins conceding that everything he has ever written is meaningless drivel? In a way it is a blessing that Gould and Mayr were spared that realization but I am have no compassion for Dawkins whatsoever. It will be interesting to see how he responds to the inevitable. We shouldn’t have to wait much longer.

    Youth: I’m not sure exactly what you’re talking about–

    Davison: Well I guess nobody wants to hear about how many times life may or may not have been created. That is too bad. I may present that evidence anyway. For the moment let me explain how I intend to go about it.

    Youth: [Slams phone down] Asshole.

    Davison: [not missing a beat] As long as there exists simple criteria sufficient to account for a common ancestor, one can assume that such an ancestor existed. However, even that may not be so because it is possible that organisms which share a common genetic background may have independently aquired that condition through separate and independent evolutionary events. That is to say that evolution may have been repeatable. I do not favor this view but it cannot be eliminated at present…. Ah… What’s that beeping noise? [Looks quizzically at the phone. Hangs up the receiver. Pauses. Picks it up again.]

    [masking voice with an atrocious accent.] Ees thees Daw-mee-nose?


    Update: Thanks for the link, PZ. Welcome, Pharyngulans. Check out “search me” for other humorous pieces. Update update: Davison has saved the best for last.

    Update update update: Not content, Davison runs for office.

  29. GHowe said

    Thanks Anthony that’s pretty funny. Rather than cliclking on the link, if there are anymore updates, can you please post em here later, I can’t take no mo jokes tonight!

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