Why don’t I comment?

I was asked in a recent comment, why I didn’t comment on Whats Up With That (WUWT) posts, so as to point out some of the issues I’ve been highlighting in my posts. The answer, as I mentioned in my reply, was that I have commented on WUWT posts, but was using a different name. I don’t really like the idea of commenting under more than one name, so if I do comment again it will be using the name I’ve used before on the WUWT site.

Anyway, both times I commented I was “attacked” by one of the regular commentators for being a “troll”, for “spreading falsehoods”, for “misleading and disrupting the threads”, amongst other equally unpleasant accusations. I found it remarkably unpleasant and didn’t enjoy it at all. The second time I tried I had, admittedly, had a couple of whiskeys so was feeling a little braver than normal. I tried to keep it pleasant, but the same thing happened again.

What I thought I would do here is illustrate what seems to be a typical style for the comments on a WUWT post. There is a recent WUWT post called The unravelling of global warming is accelerating. One of those making comments was someone posting under the name Stan W. I have no idea who Stan W is (it isn’t me), so apologies if he would rather I hadn’t highlighted his comments. I don’t want to copy his comments here as I’m not sure if that is acceptable, so instead I’ll link to one of his comments. Seems like a perfectly reasonable comment. Challenges what someone else has said, but quite politely, and then makes the perfectly valid comment that the energy going into the oceans could come out to heat the land and atmosphere. The issue was that someone else had claimed that we could treat the oceans as a massive heat sink and hence didn’t need to worry about the energy going into the oceans. Stan W was simply pointing out that this was a dangerous assumption. Here, however, is a link to one of the responses to Stan W’s comments. Accusations of him being a “troll”. A suggestion that he should “clear off and leave discussion to those who can, want to, and do discuss the science”. A list of statements about how to address science issues, which apparently Stan W was not doing. Without even considering the issue of climate change, Stan W’s comments – in my opinion – were quite reasonable and clearly addressed various perfectly valid science issues. Don’t take my word for it though. Read the post and the comments yourself and make up your own mind.

In my opinion, however, suggesting that WUWT is a science site that encourages scientific discussions seems absurd if they condone comments likes those addressed to Stan W. How they can suggest that it is a site for open discussions about climate science is beyond me. They only way they can claim this is by assuming that various issues are already decided (global warming has paused, for example) and hence, consequently, anyone who does not accept these settled issues is therefore being unscientific. That in itself is unscientific, so that doesn’t justify anything in my opinion. Just makes the site seem like the poster child for confirmation bias.

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6 Responses to Why don’t I comment?

  1. Rachel says:

    I completely understand how you feel and I reckon the sudden (maybe it’s not sudden, but it seems so) birth of numerous blogs that analyse the mistakes and misrepresentations on WUWT are evidence that many people feel the same way as you. I certainly don’t have the courage to debate in the comments on WUWT. I’m having enough trouble debating the members of my family who dismiss the science in the comments on my own blog!

  2. Rachel says:

    Oh god, I’ve just realised the link in my name was going to a non-existent blog I started for a friend. Hope I’ve managed to fix it.

  3. I’ve corrected it to link to your blog.

  4. I hope that the increase in the number of people addressing what is said on WUWT (and other sites) does have some impact. I certainly have no great desire – anymore – to debate the comments on WUWT. It is pretty unpleasant but I might be able to put up with that if I thought there was a chance of making some (even small) difference, but it really doesn’t seem like there is. Admittedly, I don’t have to worry about debating my own family 🙂

  5. Pingback: Watt about the ground rules? | Wotts Up With That Blog

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