Peak readership for anti-science blogs?

Tobis: Denyosphere Jumps the Shark


Comparative traffic rankings are always dicey — certainly is unreliable. is considered perhaps the best available.  Click on image for  larger figure of ranking over 12 months, which shows the rise and fall of the anti-science crowd.

Back on March 26, Watts wrote, “Traffic has slowed from about half of what it was during the heady days of Climategate and Copenhagen in December, but I note that this is not unique to WUWT, as other climate blogs have also experienced similar drops since then” (see Hits charade: WattsUpWithThat hypes itself with dubious webstats, while lowballing other blogs).

That may be true of his fellow anti-science bloggers, but it’s not true of Climate Progress.   ClimateAudit’s numbers are now apparently so low that Compete offers this disclaimer:


Yes, you can’t rely on Climate Audit’s statistics because of the low sample size!  Irony can be so ironic.

Weeks after I called Watts out for his inane celebration of his “hits,” he continues to track them on his website.  A typical explanation of just what Hits are, “Hits, Page Views, Visitors and Visits Demystified,” concludes “It is evident it does not make a lot of sense to count Hits.”  So, of course, it is the perfect metric for the top anti-science website in the country.

My traffic is much higher now than in December.  I have had a 33% to 40% increase in both subscribers to my feed and direct traffic (including) pageviews, comparing this month to December.

As I wrote back in March, webstats comparison sites (like Compete or Alexa) almost certainly miss a large fraction of my readers because I have chosen a subscriber-driven strategy.  I devote a lot of prime real estate at the top of CP to getting subscriptions.  I want people to read the content and I don’t care if they come here to do so (or go to other websites where I repost some content, such as Grist).   I don’t know how many of my subscribers actually read my posts each day, or how many posts they read.  The email subscribers and many if not most of the RSS feed subscribers can read any of the posts they want without ever coming here and registering in my webstats.  I will note that if, say, only 1/3 of my subscribers read half of my posts a day without coming to CP, that would mean my actual pageviews were roughly double what the webstats programs show.  There is, however, no good way of finding out.


I’d be interested in your thoughts on this, but there are a number of possible explanations.  Fundamentally, if you want to sustain and grow traffic you have to provide useful news and interesting analysis.  The anti-science crowd don’t have any useful news or interesting analysis in the conventional sense.  They aren’t reporting on the vast majority of the scientific literature, for instance, which is utterly fascinating, albeit depressing.

In a AAAS presentation this year, William R. Freudenburg of UC Santa Barbara discussed his research on “the Asymmetry of Scientific Challenge“:

New scientific findings are found to be more than twenty times as likely to indicate that global climate disruption is “worse than previously expected,” rather than “not as bad as previously expected.”

The anti-science crowd, however, is stuck pushing its disinformation, that this is all a hoax or a wild exaggeration.  That limits the studies they can write about and/or forces them to repeat the same limited number of well-debunked arguments again and again and again, like attacking the uber-vindicated Hockey Stick for the umpteenth nauseating time.

It’s kind of like peak oil.  We’re not making any more oil so eventually production has to peak.  They’re not really making any new disinformation, and it just gets harder and harder to recycle the same old BS.

Since the overwhelming majority of the scientific observations provide strong confirmation of our understanding of human-caused global warming, the anti-science crowd has to twist themselves into ever more contorted pretzels on key subjects like Arctic ice:

And when a peer-reviewed study comes out pierces the heart of their tiny overwrought conspiracy theory — New study reaffirms broad scientific understanding of climate change, questions media’s reliance on tiny group of less-credibile scientists for “balance” — well, they launch a (tiny) overwrought attack.

I don’t think I could do a better job of dismantling this “blacklist” nonsense than Michael Tobis, so I recommend you read his post, “Denyosphere Jumps the Shark,” which concludes:

There’s nothing sinister about encouraging people to ignore opinions one finds unreasonable.

What do the facts tell us? Let’s keep in mind what the PNAS paper revealed. It did not reveal who had what opinions: it based that on public declarations. Everybody counted in the paper in either category had already added themselves to controversial lists. No new information about people and their opinions was published. Indeed, no names were named in the publication, though they had been visible for months on the web. All that was revealed was how much influence the signatories of the various statements have within the field.

This is what you call “citizen science”; the collation of available information from multiple sources. Connecting this paper to paranoia about “black lists” is completely detached from reality.

Propaganda is to be expected in climate issues of course; that’s the whole problem.

But this time it’s transparently crazy propaganda. Is this the same level of paranoia that’s behind the other criticisms of the field? (hint: yup) I hope the press thinks about this very carefully, not just the original publication, but the ridiculously overwrought response to it.

Speaking of crazy propaganda, Anthony Watts wrote Tuesday, “A short note about the state of affairs,” without a trace of irony:

While I don’t agree much with Tamino, it is his “place”. He can say what he wants, it is his right.  Overall there’s too much pointless bluster and sniping in climate science. I wish there was a volume control.

Kids, can we just all “get along”?

But if you go over to Tamino, you’ll find this post:

How Low Can You Go?

Anthony Watts has decided to question my patriotism. Eli Rabett’s too.

Watts ends a post about flying his flag on memorial day with

“I wonder if “Tamino” or Eli Rabbet bothers to fly a flag on memorial day? Here’s to hoping that they do.”

There’s no reason imaginable to say such a thing except to imply we’re not sufficiently patriotic.

This just might be the most loathsome thing Watts has yet done with his blog.

Such blatant hypocrisy and disingenuousness too may well be contributing to the decline in readership.

Over the longer term, if not the medium term, the anti-science crowd is, of course, doomed to have a shrinking audience.  As conservative strategist and wordmeister Frank Luntz wrote in his infamous playbook on how to seem like you care about the climate when you don’t, “The scientific debate is closing (against us) but not yet closed.

Yes, a well-designed and well funded disinformation campaign can fool a great many people for an extended period of time, leading to unnecessary suffering by many, many millions — as we saw with the tobacco industry — but the truth will out.

55 Responses to Peak readership for anti-science blogs?

  1. prokaryote says:

    I did a quick search and found this about alexa ranking methodology.

    Alexa website provides a downloadable toolbar for people to download on their computers. This downloadable toolbar is only compatible with Firefox and not Internet Explorer. Therefore, if a person is only running Explorer on his or her computer, then this person will not be able to download the Alexa toolbar. Then how can one truly trust the accuracy of the Alexa Ranking method?

    A few third party websites provide a free downloadable toolbar that will work with Internet Explorer. However, downloading any free software from the Internet is risky business. One should only download free software from websites after extensively researching that site and making sure it is safe.

    In other words the ranking depends on the alexa toolbar installed – lol.

  2. John Hollenberg says:

    Let’s call it PD – Peak Disinformation… that’s one peak I hope has a quick, assymetric dropoff on the right side :-)

  3. MapleLeaf says:


    Very interesting. Pleased to see that you had caveats.

    Roy Spencer has opened up his blog recently for posts. I am particularly disappointed with the rhetoric in this one:

    Really, the content of the post in question is something I would have expected from Watts or Morano.

    [JR: Godwin’s Law.]

  4. Doug Bostrom says:

    ClimateAudit these days is focusing on reenactments of historical fiction, a strong draw for a very small crowd of enthusiasts.

  5. Daniel Ives says:

    I wonder if Watts’ next post will take your graph above and cherry pick the start date to imply that his readership is rising. It’s not like denialists are novices to statistical manipulation and ignorance.

    Congratulations on the rising readership, Joe. I got hooked on this site many months ago and now consider it indispensable. I hope it continues to grow, because I sure do wish more people were hearing what you have to say.


  6. mark says:

    “Since the overwhelming majority of the scientific observations provide strong confirmation of our understanding of human-caused global warming”

    Don’t you think that at this point, the extreme weather, flash floods, record tornadoes, livestock herds killed by baseball sized hailstones, thousand year floods, record drought, record snowfall, and so on that is now occurring daily, in North America,

    is sinking into the consciousness of even the dimmest of people and
    has to be having an affect on at least a part of their fan base.

    Which part of the denier liturgy explains the thousand year flood two months ago in Nashville?

    The King Canute effect.

    as in do you believe me, or your lying eyes.

  7. Andy says:

    Great news. I certainly hope the denier influence keeps shrinking, and at an accelerating rate. (You know, just to mirror the climate science community’s projections of the generally increasing rate of climate impacts – provide some consolation and all.)

    Hopefully the MSM wakes up and starts being responsible in its reporting too. Wouldn’t that be great!

  8. Doug Bostrom says:

    They’re not really making any new disinformation, and it just gets harder and harder to recycle the same old BS.

    I hate to say this, but over at Skeptical Science there a few folks making a strong push to claim that the entire ocean heat content instrumental record is invalid. Despite this opinion, the same people attempt a contorted effort to show that we can still learn that OHC is flat over the past 16 years, even though the instrumental record they cite is supposedly hopelessly flawed.

    OHC is the elusive elephant in the room, it’s absolutely imperative that it be wished away…

  9. mike roddy says:

    This is really heartening news- I needed some today. And congratulations to Climate Progress, including your excellent staff of researchers.

    Once in a while I drop in on WUWT and CA, to either do a little gentle needling or even make a factual point. There has been a change lately- Watts, formerly polite to me, has become hysterical. The humiliation of the thorough NAS debunking of his life’s work Biased Temperature Station project must be finally getting to him, though, incredibly, he published another photo about one recently.

    McIntyre, he of the Broken Hockey Stick, has suffered a similar humiliation, from yet another comprehensive vindication of the hockey stick. Mac’s visage has been haggard lately, and he’s been keeping his head down. The old mathematician is a defeated man. He seemed to be going through the motions recently even at the one place where he’ll get applause lines, the latest Heartland Conference.

    Morano of course is crazy, and I’m amazed that his ratings ever reached as high as they did. He’s unaffected, because he’s in the ozone anyway.

    The change in ratings trends (as shown in the graph) is not due to the Gulf eruption, and certainly not to the mainstream media, which has yet to awaken. I give credit to word of mouth, one at a time persuasion, via emails, and personal discussions. The main drivers, and providers of the actual science in comprehensible form, have been this blog, Realclimate, and managers of the equally dedicated and hardworking blogs such as Rabbetrun, Deepclimate, Deltoid, Desmogblog, and Skeptical Science.

    Let’s just call this piece today an excuse to hand out the academy awards to all seven of you. As you and other commenters well know, though, this fight is in an early stage, and is going to be a long ground war. It’s a good thing we’ve got a few artillery commanders like you, especially since you are all gentle people at heart.

  10. catman306 says:

    Maybe the denialists and skeptics are realizing, because of people like Joe Romm, Gavin Schmidt and so many others, that their behavior and thinking belongs in the past 2 decades but really is falling behind in 2010.

    It’s the free market at work and hardly anyone is buying their baloney.

  11. villabolo says:

    As you said, Joe, people are getting bored of the same old story.

    It’s also a defensive versus offensive situation. It’s always easier to attack than it is to defend. WUWT makes it quite clear that they are so fixated with the Arctic Ice Cap issue that one of its posters suggested that it be renamed “Anthony’s Sea Ice News”.

    We, in our observance of Natural History in the making, not only have something genuinely new to say but, in bringing it up, we put them on the defensive.

    That is why they would rather fly South for the summer where Global Warming’s advance is glacial compared to up North.

  12. darth says:

    I recently subscribed to the RSS feed. I hope that’s not sinking your numbers because I do check multiple times a day, i just don’t hit the site anymore.

    RSS is great BTW.

    [JR: Amazingly, both subscribers and page views are way up!]

  13. Robert says:

    Joe – your main problem is the lack of comments, which for the passing reader is an indication of the amount of traffic. Most of your posts attract fewer than 10 comments whereas WUWT generally get 50 to 250 comments, as do artciles in the major media sites.


    [JR: Actually, I get a lot comments. Take a look at Grist — which gets more traffic — or Wonk Room. Or even the NY Times’ DotEarth. I just happen to post 7+ times a day. And perhaps half my readers don’t come to the website, as I’ve explained. You don’t really know much about blogging, but you do know much about dissing.]

  14. Lou Grinzo says:

    There is no question that in the end the truth will prevail, just as there’s no doubt some tiny group of people will never, ever be convinced. There are still people who refuse to accept that HIV causes AIDS, smoking causes cancer, the Holocaust happened, etc. Victory is not the disappearance of the denier obstructionists, but the point when their numbers have melted away to the point they’re no longer a political obstacle to getting the public policy changes we need.

    My concern is the amount of time it will take for that sea change to happen. We’re already flirting with disaster; if it takes too much longer for the deniers to fade away and/or the mainstreamers to wake up, the whole human race will pay a horrific price.

    Joe, and everyone else here: KEEP FIGHTING!!!

  15. catman306 says:

    Could this earthquake in Quebec be linked to loss of ice in the arctic and rebound?

  16. Michael hauber says:

    I think climategate was overall a loss for the deniers. I argue in an Australian weather forum, and I notice that there has been a clear trend away from deniers/skeptics offerring facts and evidence, towards ranting and conspiracy theory. They are still very vocal, but I suspect they are just not as convincing to the silent majority as they may have been in the past.

    And judging by polls there seems an obvious connection between short term global temp trends and overall belief in AGW, with a recent reversal in opinion following the recent reversal in temperature trends. And of course we are about to go back into cooling mode with La Nina again so…

    I also sense that the whole debate is getting tired and that often sites I used to enjoy are devoting more time to slinging mud and attacking credibility (IMO deservedly so, but not very interesting to me), and less towards discussing the actual science. Even Skeptical Science which to me had always stood out as being about the science has recently run articles pointint out how stupid the things said by some of the supider people in the deniersphere are.

    It seems that most of what can be said about climate science has been said multiple times, and that the most interesting stuff to read and write about is in the world of policy and what is being done about it. My opinion is that Climate Progress is a mediocre site for science but good for policy, and I have found this site rising on my personal list of preferences. And I also have the impression that some of the more scientifically minded bloggers are dropping in their output, and presumably readership.

  17. I wonder if the higher traffic before COP15 was from paid discourse poisoners at RW thinktanks?

    Or Senate staffers. It always seems astounding that Inhofe has a staff of 150 or so, yet all he ever has to say is No. So what do all those staffers do all day? Multiply that by the whole 41 of them, if they don’t have to think about legislation, what do all those staffers do?

  18. Nancy says:

    Maple leaf, you do a brilliant job rebutting Spencer and the posters on his page. I find it sad that he connects the term “denier” to the Holocaust and argues that the PNAS paper is akin to the Inquisition. I think he is suffering from a persecution complex.

  19. Gord says:

    I’ve been a daily reader for 9 months now.

    I learned a lot.Many thanks.



  20. Eli Rabett says:

    Eli has noticed also. Plus the increasing incoherence.

  21. ChinHsien says:

    I’m sorry to ask a stupid question:

    What does the y-axis in the chart mean?

    The “Rank” number seems lowest for climate progress now (~20k only).
    But highest for Climate Audit (150-200k).

    Looks like opposite to what u are discussing??

    p.s. I’m not a climate denier.

  22. Jim Eager says:

    Catman, could be, but it’d have to be the loss of ice 10k years ago.

    The Canadian Shield is still rebounding form that melt.

  23. ChinHsien says:

    Btw, for me the climate blog I prefer the most is

    It really looks scientific

    But it seems so so so quiet there. Always 0 or 1 comment only…

  24. Ron Broberg says:

    I would be more impressed by the sincerity of Spencer’s alarming call of Inquisition if Dr Spencer had any history of defending scientists against political hatchet jobs.

    Where was Dr. Spencer when Sen Inhofe was looking into ways to prosecute climate scientists?

    Where was Dr. Spencer when VA AG Cuccinelli was looking into ways to prosecute climate scientists?

    And if Dr Spencer publicly protested either of these actions and I simply missed them, then I am pleased to see that he does, in deed and word, have a history of defending the rights and speech of climate scientists.


    Joe, congrats on the readership. But as a frequent reader and occasional commentator, I would like to see you drop or tone down some of the anti-libertarian, anti-teaparty, anti-Palin rhetoric. But not all politics. I find your insight into the political jockeying around legislation and policy to be very interesting. But my favorite posts are some of those with the least comments – news about alt-e projects and implementation.

  25. Ron Broberg says:

    Nancy says #19 re Holocaust

    AGW deniers link the phrase “denier” to “Holocaust denier” forgetting that Freud used the term ‘denial’ decades before the Holocaust.

    When I use the term, I use it in the sense that Freud used it. And not all skeptics are deniers – most of the skeptical technical bloggers are not. For instance, Steve McIntyre has, to the best of my knowledge, never denied that adding CO2 to the atmosphere leads to warming. Most technical objections are about how much warming that feedbacks will contribute – a more subtle argument than simply denying the warming properties of CO2.

    In the history of the AGW debates, there have been instances were the link between “Holocaust denial” and “AGW denial” has been explicitly made. So the deniers have a point too.

  26. mike roddy says:

    I apologize for overlooking Tenney Naumer’s excellent blog, and second the mention

  27. MapleLeaf says:

    Nancy @18,

    Wow. Thanks. I didn’t think anyone noticed! ;) I do my best, but it is incredibly time consuming. So any show of support over there is welcome.

  28. Prokaryote says:

    Tenney Naumer please add twitter.

  29. Chris Dudley says:

    I thought Anthony Watts was a sockpuppet for a Canadian named Nigel Persuad. Why is he flying a flag? Shouldn’t he just rise up out of a garbage can and shout at people like other grouchy puppets? I get so confused by all these stranger personae….

  30. Colorado Bob says:

    Up to 196 millimetres (eight inches) of rain pummelled parts of Jiangxi and Fujian provinces during a 24-hour period starting Tuesday, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said, warning of landslides and mudflows.

    Flood-hit south China braces for more rains

  31. Jim Groom says:

    Maple Leaf killed themon Spencer’s blog. I read his responses several times and all of the rejoinders. No contest by any measurement.

    BTW, after years of the buz over cosmic rays has anything come out of the CERN projects? I was lead to believe that by now new discoveries and proof of Sven’s claim would be forthcoming.

    As to peak readership of anti-science blogs I can only add that I hope the trend continues. It is about time that the nonsense stop.

  32. Colorado Bob says:

    Judge tosses creationists’ effort to offer master’s degrees

    What the judge said in his ruling had a certain ring to it :

    ” U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks of Austin found no merit in the institute’s claims and criticized its legal documents as “overly verbose, disjointed, incoherent, maundering and full of irrelevant information.”

  33. Wit's End says:

    Michael Hauber said: “It seems that most of what can be said about climate science has been said multiple times, and that the most interesting stuff to read and write about is in the world of policy and what is being done about it.”

    It doesn’t seem that way to me at all. We have embarked on uncharted waters – every day reveals new, unanticipated effects from human activity. My entry into the topic was initially because I noticed trees dying. On the topic of photosynthesis alone, so much is still unknown – by academics and professionals! Just trying to learn about the role of lichens, or the chemistry of soils is formidable. The world is revealing itself to be infinitely complex.

    Anyone who thinks the science is settled is suffering from a lack of imagination and curiosity.

    As to denier hysteria, I just finished reading Clive Hamilton’s book, Requiem for a Species, in which he recounts a study done by a psychologist named Leon Festinger, who infiltrated a religious cult that was based on the notion the world was going to come to an end on a particular date. He wanted to see how they would react when their prophesy was not fulfilled. To his astonishment, when the day passed and the world lived on, the cult members congratulated themselves on saving the world by having predicted its demise!

    He called this “cognitive dissonance,” a tendency to double down in a false belief system when the facts against it mount up.

    I think we are already seeing a fair bit of this particular derangement.

  34. Heraclitus says:

    I add my congratulations to MapleLeaf for his work on Spencer’s blog – a shining example of how patient and restrained comments can make those arguing the other point of view look increasingly desperate. And OK, they seem to be making themselves quite easy targets, but all the same, sterling work.

  35. Jim Prall says:

    #29 Chris Dudley,
    No, I’m pretty sure Anthony Watts is using his real name.

    As for web lists of statement signers: thanks Michael Tobis for saying it better than I ever could. Every list I compiled was from a statement already posted on the web. All the links are on my page of list sources

    As for Marc Morano’s attempt to Swiftboat this as “Stasi-esque”: what amazing gall! He’s famous for having built a long list of climate skeptics during his term with Sen. Inhofe. Hypocrite! Why wasn’t that list “Stasi-esque?” Just because he agreed with their “side”?
    Nothing in our PNAS paper justifies comparisons to the Stasi. We don’t *say* anyone should persecute or blacklist signers of either type of statement, because of course we *don’t believe* that. (Hard to believe I’m even having to say this at all.) What we say is that the media should consider people’s qualifications and standing (oooh!)
    The only other way to spin this into something sinister is to argue that someone evil *might use* the lists to persecute people regardless of our intentions. That seems to be the main theme at Roger Pielke Jr’s blog.

    That objection of what someone might do with the list really falls down on the point Michael makes so well, that all the source lists I compiled were already on the web. Anyone who could misuse my list could just as well have found the same names on the original sources, or many of the same names plus many more on Morano’s list – and not all on his list by choice.

    Morano publicized his list relentlessly, and listed many more names as skeptics than I have. Morano also tended to quotemine, leading to false positives where the person in question would protest their inclusion as unrepresentative of their actual views, yet Morano would refuse to take them off. He’d just point to the mined quote he had, ignoring anything the source might say about being taken out of context or trying to tell him what their actual views are.

    If the fear is that someone biased against supporters of one “side” could focus their bias on people on a list, why was it okay for Morano to subject people to that risk with his list? Was Morano’s list “Stasi-esque” as well? If not, why not?

    Thanks again to those offering supportive comments on the PNAS paper. Since Morano published my email and compared me to the Stasi, let’s just say I’ve had a stream of unfriendly responses. (Oddly, people keep sending me really weak arguments like “there is no greenhouse effect” or predicting global cooling.)

    [JR: Remember, Morano publicly stated how he believes climate scientists should be treated: “I seriously believe we should kick them while they’re down,” he said. “They deserve to be publicly flogged.” He proudly linked to that interview on his blog.]

  36. I was really surprised by the compliments here, and I sincerely appreciate them, as my blog is such a minor one in the scheme of things.

    You all surely realize that I “lift” 99% of the material I post from other sites and blogs (much of which is from Climate Progress, among others), rarely writing my own material.

    My objective has always been to get the scientific information out there for general and advanced readers, although I also do enter into some of the controversies, and I do post on the situation of Greenland’s ice sheet (melting like a snow cone at the ball park in July).

    I am almost twitter illiterate but will try to add it to the blog.

    Readership has increased recently by about 30%, and is about 450 visits per day with about 700 pages views (or more).

    There are now over 2,400 posts, so the blog is now a pretty good database of the best science — just use the search field in the upper left or try hitting one of the labels on the left column.

    Comments are few, but are always welcome. I screen the wild denialist junk out.

    I would like to put in a plug here for the Wit’s End blog by Gail of New Jersey. My comments never go through on it for some reason, but it is a great visual and intellectual study up close of that part of the U.S.

    Thank you all again, and thank you Joe for this great blog of yours.


  37. Phil Clarke says:

    >> “I thought Anthony Watts was a sockpuppet for a Canadian named Nigel Persuad. ”

    Nope – that was Steve McIntyre’s pseudonym on Usenet discussions about the Hockey Stick. ‘Nigel’ would log in and voice his opinion that McIntyre and McKitrick were smart and sexy individuals and extraordinarily correct about all things statistical, while Michael Mann was a bald dwarf with bad teeth. I exaggerate, but only a bit.

    Wait – doesn’t Watts have a bee in his bonnet about ‘anonymous cowards’?

  38. Jim Eager says:

    Jim Prall, fear not, the shrill howls of Morano, Pielke, et al just show how far under their skin you can get by using the truth.

    They’re bald faced hypocrites, what do you expect them to do when you shine the light of reality on them?

  39. MapleLeaf says:

    Phil @37,

    If was you say @37 is true, then I am at a loss of words. McIntyre is on the public record claiming that everything he has done on in his investigations into the HS etc. has been done in good faith.

    This could be a huge story. Could you please provide details? I am curious about dates. It sounds like this was before he started CA?

    Dr. Romm, did you know about this?

    PS: Thanks all for the kind words, much appreciated.

  40. MapleLeaf says:

    Dr. Prall,

    Again, thanks for your team’s efforts. It is a pity that someone decided to include the term “denier” in the keyword, especially when it appears only appears once in the body text.

    Have seen Dr. Spencer’s take on this?

  41. dhogaza says:

    Mapleleaf, McIntyre has admitted to being Nigel Persuad.

    In this thread in 2005 at Deltoid, McIntyre posted:

    “I can’t believe that it took you so long to figure this out. My writing style tends to be pretty technical and I made no effort to modify my writing style and made very technical points. If you go back and re-read all of Nigel’s posts, you’ll see some pretty detailed observations.”

  42. DavidCOG says:

    “The cream always rises to the top.”

    > Weeks after I called Watts out for his inane celebration of his “hits,” he continues to track them on his website.

    Since web stats were invented, the ignorant and dishonest have used ‘hits’ to inflate their own importance.

    Joe, another metric where your site receives a lot of coverage and Watts, et al do not – on social media sites. E.g. WattsUpMyArse gets no significant exposure at reddit, whereas your articles regularly receive a lot of votes and subsequent attention.

    “Truth will out.”

  43. Wow, MapleLeaf, that is some truly good work. I couldn’t get the entire comment thread to load, nor was I able to make a comment.

  44. MapleLeaf says:

    Dhogaza @41, Thanks. Wow, and he clais to do everything in “good faith”. Sorry, but that seems anything but.

    McI says “I made no effort to modify my writing style and made very technical points”

    If he said anything resembling this “Michael Mann was a bald dwarf with bad teeth”, then he clearly not being honest, again. I just perused sci.environment and searched for “Nigel Persaud” and could not find anything close to what Phil said at #37 (i.e., aforementioned quote). I did find Nigel Persaud (Stephen McIntyre) saying this about Mann on November 8 2003:

    “Can one characterize Mann’s comments as anything other than a flat-out lie? ”

    Anyhow, it is laughable to see Nigel Persaud (McIntyre) defending M&M as an independent observer while at the same time attacking Mann. How truly disingenuous.

  45. MapleLeaf says:

    Tenney @43, Thanks!

  46. Good work, Maple Leaf!

    Joe, what sets this site apart from pretty much the rest in recent months is that it is so regularly updated every day. It is an exceptionally effective hub for all news regarding energy and climate, from the science to the politics.

    That is no criticism of the more hardcore science sites such as RC or Skeptical Science and many others. They are all important for their own reasons.

    It’s becoming clear on the other hand that the anti-science blogs are like a hummer on its last pint of gas, together with all the sediment in the bottom of the tank!

    However: and I’m sure you would agree – the CRU hack/IPCC “errors” barrage this past winter was likely not their last throw of the dice, despite the truth coming out in due course. As night follows day, they are guaranteed to cook up more BS in due course. I wouldn’t put anything past them. So keep up the good work! The prize? A habitable planet.

    Cheers – John

  47. Tony Sidaway says:

    Why are the anti-science blogs losing?

    Partly I think that may be because the English-speaking internet is a world-wide phenomenon and denialism has only ever stood much of a chance in the United States.

    And of course partly it’s seasonal. You probably don’t get as much traffic on a denialist blog when it’s summer in the northern hemisphere where most of the people live.

    And I agree with the commenter who said that most of the anti-science blogs have begun to rant openly about conspiracies over the past few months, and that puts most readers right off. At the same time McIntyre’s more subtle “auditing” approach seems to be losing its appeal, and he also seems to be veering more towards building up some grand theory of confirmation bias.

    They all seem to be running out of steam and they’ve gone into “flail arms wildly and shout” mode like that robot in Lost in Space. Nobody’s buying the global conspiracy theory.

  48. Arthur Smith says:

    What I find most amusing is that instead of any sort of defense of their website stats as seemed to happen last time around, they’re flailing even more extremely – in his latest post McIntyre even attacks me! ClimateAudit seems to have become a troll-run troll-haven. Not a pleasant place at all.

  49. Phil Clarke says:


    My quote was for entertainment only, hence the word ‘exaggerate’, not literally.

    You need to seek out the ‘Auditing the Auditors’ threads on sci.environment, where Josh Halpern engages with ‘Nigel Persaud’. Halpern is a close associate of Eli Rabbet, as I’m sure you know, so if you want to further your research a mail to the longeared one might be a way forward….

  50. Dear Dr. Smith,

    They must be really losing it to attack you.

    Just shows how desperate they have become (which is a good thing).

    But another commenter was correct.

    They have unlimited resources, remember, and will mount yet more substantial attacks on science before the next climate meeting.

    So, we must not celebrate too soon.

  51. Susan Anderson says:

    re denier = Nazi and this study provides a “blacklist” I think you guys are being naive. It’s intentional. Any rhetorical trick will do. If people think denial is not what it is in the dictionary but is hate speech, it lets them off the hook on the facts.

    So there’s a survey of what is science and how many people buy it: of course those on the “wrong” side are in a “blacklist”.

    It’s important to remember not to buy these but to call it as you see it. Months ago I posted a cross list from Timothy Chase of denialist think tanks that also supported big tobacco, and a poster labeled it a “DO NOT READ” (caps his) list. Of course, that was to prevent people from digesting the material.

    So point people back to the original info rather than arguing on their turf.

  52. mike roddy says:

    Arthur Smith,

    I hope you get into a dialogue with Mac, even if it has to be on his blog. He will find out that he’s messing with the wrong guy.

  53. MapleLeaf says:

    Thanks Phil @49.

    Actually I do not know how to contact the longeared one, all I know is that he was a co-author on the Halpern et al. (2010) paper which roasted the much touted “paper” (by “skeptics” of course) by G&T.

    I did go to sci.environment, but did not come across any comms between Halpern and Nigel (I mean Mcintyre).

    Mind you is was by no means an exhaustive search.

  54. MapleLeaf says:

    Phil, re me saying that “all I know is that he was a co-author on the Halpern et al. (2010) paper”. Feel free to write a big “L” on my forehead ;) Jeez.

  55. SunMan says:

    What relationship (specifically financial) does Watts have with Murdoch and FoxNoise?

    I saw at one point he worked for a Faux affiliate and the style clearly parrots that of a Faux News lackey.

    His style parrots that of a Murdoch serf so much, I’m wondering if that follows through with Watt’s coin?