Watt about the ground rules?

If you’ve read some of my earlier posts you may know that I have tried commenting on Watts Up With That (WUWT) posts and, because of the response my comments received, I no longer comment on WUWT posts. To a certain extent, it is why I started this blog. I, however, don’t want to discourage others from engaging on WUWT as they may have more success than I had. WUWT is considered (by those who write posts and by most who comment) as being a science site that openly discusses the science of climate change. It has indeed won the the Weblog Award for best science site 3 times in a row and so is indeed a Bloggie hall of fame honoree. My perusal of WUWT has lead me to feel that – if you want to avoid others throwing unpleasant accusations at you – there are some basic ground rules that one should consider following.

1. Global warming paused 15 years ago, or there has been no global warming for the last 15 years.

Although there may well be strong scientific evidence to suggest that there has been no pause in global warming, if you want to avoid vitriolic responses to your comment it is best that you avoid pointing this out.

2. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is either not a greenhouse gas or it is a very weak greenhouse gas. At best, climate sensitivity is 1oC.

Again, there is substantial evidence to suggest that CO2 is the dominant greenhouse gas as far as global warming is concerned and that climate sensitivity is probably between 2oC and 3oC. However, suggesting that they may be underestimating the importance of CO2 is not advised if you wish to remain on friendly terms with some of the regular commentators.

3. Fossil fuels are the most effective and efficient energy source that we have. There are no credible alternatives.

Despite many countries (Germany for example) now providing quite a large fraction of their energy through alternatives to fossil fuels, suggesting that we seriously consider alternatives is quite likely to result in you being accused of being personally responsible for the future deaths of billions of people – mainly children. Being compared to Pol Pot, Hitler and/or Stalin is also quite likely. To avoid such accusations, it is best that you either avoid this topic or agree that fossil fuels are the only way to lift people out of poverty and starvation.

4. Consider not posting anonymously.

It does seem that one is given more credit if one posts using one’s own name, rather than posting anonymously. However, this is not guaranteed. So, when deciding under which name to post it is worth considering the possibility that you will still be accused of being a mass murderer and that those making the accusation could now know who you are.

There you go. Those are my guidelines based on what I’ve experienced, and what I’ve observed when reading other comments on WUWT. I suspect that if you follow the above guidelines you should be quite safe when making comments on WUWT. Happy commenting!

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15 Responses to Watt about the ground rules?

  1. Rachel says:

    How do you debate with someone who does not think CO2 is a greenhouse gas? It’s impossible. They’re beyond reason. That’s why I gave up.

    Those bloggies were rigged. The founder is quoted in the Guardian as saying:
    “This year someone used a lot of disposable email addresses to nominate themselves. Occasionally people will submit ballots on behalf of other people. Sometimes people will use fake nominations to get around the three-nomination minimum.”

  2. bg says:

    Speaking of uncivilized, have you ever frequented the realscience blog of steven goddard?

  3. I have not, although I have heard of it. It can’t be worse than WUWT surely?

  4. Yes, I’ve read that Guardian before. Not a huge surprise, but presumably it means that they regard themselves as a science site, even if many others do not 🙂

  5. indigo says:

    Interestingly, Anthony Watts himself breaks his own rules, and gets mostly silence and a bit of objections from his fans:

  6. From indigo’s link – Anthony: “…This is going to be factually entertaining…”

    Sounds like politico Morano in action – turn facts into entertainment –
    sift and sort to make sure only those fun facts hoaxer’s like
    get presented in an entertainingly soothing smoothy sort of manner.

    Sad part is, it’s true you can fool some of the people all the time.

  7. Sou says:

    You’ll find it hard to get any comments sticking if you are ‘persona non grata’, and that’s not very hard to achieve.

    If WUWT awards you with ‘persona non grata’ status (one of the highest accolades that can be paid), you might get lucky and be mistaken for a real climate scientist.


  8. Yes, I noticed that. Of course, my post here is meant to explain to people what to do so as to avoid becoming ‘persona non grata’ 🙂

  9. Yes, he does try to sound sensible and reasonable every now and again. Typically doesn’t go down well though 🙂

  10. Indeed, rather selective. And some people seem – sadly – quite happy to be fooled. Easier than the alternative.

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  12. bg says:

    I cannot speak to that comparison, because I do not frequent WUWT.

    However in terms of the name of the blog, the content is an oxymoron to the n-th degree.

    The so-called ‘science’ consists of taking other people’s raw data, plotting it up and then calling them liars, thieves, and thugs. Or taking data from one, yes one and only one, tidal gauge that shows no sea level increase, and saying ‘aha,’ sea level rise is a lie. It also posts copies of newspaper articles from decades to centuries ago about severe weather events, and then says ‘aha’ GW/CC is a lie.

    Even worse is that a large percentage of the postings are nothing more than right wing political diatribes, no science content there to begin with.

    You can just image the level discourse in the commentary with that type of content throwing the proverbial ‘gas on the fire.’

  13. I should have a look, just to satisfy my curiosity. Does seems somewhat similar to what can often happen on WUWT.

    I’ve just remembered that I have come across something by Steven Goddard before. It was a post on WUWT, arguing that the high temperature on Venus was not because of the greenhouse effect, but because of the high pressure. A complete misuse of the equation of state, but because there were equations and things, the commentators loved it.

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