Friday, November 20, 2015

I Suspect Ann Reid

Well, I've been trying to figure out why I've been banned from NCSE's blog. I don't know exactly why, but I do have quite a few ideas. As to who banned me, I'm a bit more certain. I suspect it was Ann Reid, the executive director, who has recently taken over from founder, Eugenie Scott.

To recap, I've been banned from NCSE's blog and had my comments from the last three posts I commented on deleted. The next earlier  post I commented on, had some of my comments put in perpetual moderation. Comments in earlier posts appear to be intact. I posted all my deleted comments on this page.

The last post was by Ann Reid entitled What We're Reading. It was a list of seven linked articles, some about climate. I made this comment on one about Bill Nye:
Bill Nye, the totalitarian guy, actually says:
"Part of the solution to this problem or this set of problems associated with climate change is getting the deniers out of our discourse. You know, we can’t have these people – they’re absolutely toxic."
Commenter Robert Dekko made this response:
While there be room for Skepticism, there be no room for Denialism as by definition it "is an essentially irrational action that withholds the validation of an historical experience or event, by the person refusing to accept an empirically verifiable reality." - Wikipedia Denialism
I responded:
 Are there deniers? I can think of a certian [sic] Doug Cotton who spams the comment sections of various climate blogs, but no one takes him seriously and we both know that is not who Bill Nye is talking about. He most likely means "toxic" people like Bjorn Lomborg and Matt Ridley, not to mention actual climate scientists like judith Curry, John Christy, Richard lindzen and Roy Spencer.
 How about suspect people on his side such as a certian [sic] whiny, litigious, self-proclaimed "nobel prize winner" who won't disclose his data, code or adverse R squared results? Does Bill Nye want to get him out of our discourse? No, he writes the forward for the latest version of his crappy book!

Note that I was critical of two well known people in the climate debate -- Bill Nye and Michael Mann. These two just happen to be on the NCSE Advisory Council. I mocked Nye as "the totalitarian guy". I called Mann a whiny, litigious, self-proclaimed "nobel prize winner" who won't disclose his data, code or adverse R squared results -- a value judgement that contains a few rude facts.

NCSE does have a comments policy:
NCSE reserves the right to delete posts we deem offensive or inappropriate, and to ban authors of said posts from this blog site. We welcome lively discussions but expect you to be respectful of our authors and each other.
Now, when I'm commenting and arguing on blogs, I try to be polite and not call the people I'm responding to names. I very seldom swear. It seems to me that the third person is fair game. I'll admit to sometimes being a bit snarky, but I think that's to be expected on a blog about a contentious political issue. It appears to me that Steven Colbert, Bill Maher, John Oliver and Jon Stewart have made careers on snark.

Ann Reid's post was just this list of links. While it certainly reflects her taste, it does not say all that much about her thinking. Well, she's just written a new climate change post that has revealed her to be a bit more shrill than I expected. It's about the dustup between NOAA and Rep Lamar Smith. She says things like:
In fact, the article printed below this dry headline involves not a feud between the pursuit of scientific truth and public accountability, but between the pursuit of open research and political harassment. ...
 At stake is nothing less than the independence of the U.S. scientific enterprise. This case affects the ability of scientists to carry out their research without fear of persecution and retaliation. ...
 The backstory involves one of climate change deniers’ favorite false claims: they assert there has been no global warming since 1998. ...
 You might say that as taxpayers we have a right to see everything that government employees and government-funded scientists write to each other. Maybe there’s a legitimate argument in there somewhere (and that’s where the headline writer was going with that “accountability” idea), but when the only correspondence that is sought is that concerning a scientific finding that pisses off a politician, society’s collective you-know-what detector really ought to go off. Especially when the request just happens to come immediately before a major international meeting on climate change. ...
 Scientists have enough to worry about without fear that their lives will be turned upside down if their results are politically inconvenient.
She's also probably a little upset that some people who might be colleagues and friends are experiencing the kind of thing that, well, Willie Soon, Ed Wegman and those scientists who got letters from Raul Grijalva have.

I also note that since the post where I was blocked, there have been four more climate posts, which on this blog is quite a few for only a few days. Maybe they decided to start a crackdown on pesky inconvenient commments.

I don't know if she would have just did this herself, consulted some of the other bloggers or assigned it to some lazy assistant who only went back three blog posts. I suspect some of the bloggers were not consulted. On the second post by K. C. Busch, I posted this rather harsh quote from Jose Duarte:
Ignore them completely – that's your safest bet right now. Most of these studies use political activists as the raters, activists who desired a specific outcome for the studies (to report the highest consensus figure possible), and who sometimes collaborated with each other in their rating decisions. All of this makes these studies completely invalid and untrustworthy (and by customary scientific standards, completely unpublishable.) I had no idea this was happening. This is garbage, and a crisis. It needs to stop, and those papers need to be retracted immediately, especially Cook, et al (2013), as we now have evidence of explicit bias and corruption on the part of the raters. (If that evidence emerged during the actual coding period, it would be fraud.
Pretty strong stuff. She made what I thought was a polite, reasonably reply:
 That blog is not a peer-reviewed paper. I find it interesting but, unfortunately, not convincing. I understand that you may have a different take on this, and I respect that opinion.
I even upvoted it.

One other theory I have involves a really obnoxious commenter who calls himself AnOilMan. He's apparently a Canadian who works in oil and gas, but he's a big time AGW alarmist. I've been arguing with him for years on DeSmogBlog. He's a pompous name caller and I don't think he is very coherent. I suspect some warmists might find him an embarrassment. He seems to show up where I do and respond to my comments. Perhaps NCSE thinks that if they get rid of me, AnOilMan might go away too, although he does seem to get along well with their regulars. He has an even more obnoxious sidekick over at DeSmogBlog, who is a retired scientist whom I suspect is a bit senile. Perhaps NCSE knows about him and is wary of him showing up too.


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