Tag Archives: troll

Who are these “credible experts”?

There is a nice article over at A Few Things Ill Considered about climate change denial. And I thank Grant, from the Code for Life blog, for bringing it to my attention.

The image I have of local climate change denial activists

Climate Trolls – An Illustrated Bestiary produces an illustrated list of the different types of personality among climate change denial activists, and the websites or blogs they tend to congregate around.

There is ,The Galileo Gambiter, The Auditor, The Sanctity of Science concern troll, The Faux Skeptic, The Uncertainty Monster monster, The Avenger, The Gish Galloper, Hockey Goon, The Conspiracy Theorist, The Right Wing Ideologue and Breakthrough Boys. Each with photos illustrating how they see themselves, and how the public see them.

It’s quite an entertaining read.

This one - The Not the IPCCer – struck close to home. It seems to describe the group that gathers around the NZ denier blog sites Climate Conversation Group. And the picture of “How the world sees them” coincides with my image of people who find it impossible to get a life and instead spend all their time attached top their computer passing on links to anything they can interpret to fit their world view.

Here’s how coby at A Few Things Ill Considered describes this subspecies:

The Not the IPCCer – whatever was said on whatever topic by any of the IPCC reports, the opposite must be true.  Indeed there has never been a single correct statement made or paper published by any member of mainstream climate science. This conviction extends to even the most non-controversial and well supported contentions found in the literature and is accompanied by complete ignorance of what is found in the literature.

How they see themselves

How the world sees them

Favorite blog:     Watts Up With That
Special attack:    Peer review really means “Pal review” and Michael Mann and Phil Jones control all the major journals and all the world’s science institutions.
Favorite Topic:   Whatever the latest typo found in the latest IPCC report is.
Best counter:      Light.  The copious self-contradictions permeating their minds thrives only in darkness.

These local activists have been very vocal (at their own watering hole, anyway) since their defeat in the recent high court action they took against NIWA scientists. They have resorted to everything to justify their stance, avoid paying the NIWA  costs awarded by the courts and claim the real climate expertise rests with them, rather than New Zealand’s climate scientists.

Currently one of the most central figures in this little band is Manfred Otto Dedekind (See Shy climate denier in “science team” reveals himself for details). Manfred (who goes by the alias Bob D) on the internet was the “anonymous science team” behind the infamous attack on NZ scientists “Are we getting warmer yet?” The document which claimed that the evidence showed that no adjustments of NZ temperature data was necessary to accommodate site changes and that NIWA used such adjustments to invent an increase in temperatures.

He then did an about turn (without acknowledging that huge error) by agreeing that adjustments are necessary, doing his own manipulations of the data and telling NIWA his adjustments were the only correct ones. That NIWA had purposely got it all wrong. He and his mates used his “analysis” as their evidence in the High Court case (see High Court ruled on integrity – not science). Quite rightly, the court refused to accept that he was the climate expert he claimed to be (he has no publications at all in the area, 4 [very old] scientific publications in total – only two of which he is the senior author. I can see why his group initially wished to keep him anonymous).

But this hasn’t stopped these characters from getting behind Manfred and promoting him as an Über climate expert. One of their sister denier blogs Tallbloke’s Talkshop describes Manfred as an “expert” and a “statistician!”  (see How NIWA added lots of warming in New Zealand – and got away with it – so far). And Watts Up With That, a prominent denial blog, is describing him as a credible expert!

These guys live in a world of their own. No wonder they find trouble in getting a life.

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Comment policy in flux

trollI have been concerned for a while about the low quality of discussion going on here. It’s basically arisen because of participation of the occasional persistent troll – and others getting trapped into troll-feeding. The result is a “pissing” completion, put-downs and emotional reactions without anything of value being added to the discussion.

One result is that genuine commenters  find it difficult to follow a proper discussion. I myself find  participation difficult and I know others who have participated in the past have been put off recently. Comments get buried so why make them? Yes – I have even had a compliant!

I know some people use blog comments as a sort of forum and would not like to discourage this or to prevent  genuine off-thread comments. Nor do I want to get into the arbitrary deletion of comments, especially those I disagree with. However, I will try a few things to see if I can improve the discussion and behaviour of commenters.

Step 1

I will now close off discussion on any post where the list of comments gets too long and/or people are caught up in obvious and pointless trolling/troll-feeding loops. Sure – the malicious troll might see this as an opportunity to move to new posts with the intention of getting them closed. But they will end up looking silly if no one feeds them!

Step2

Depends on the results, if any,  of step 1 – genuine feedback is welcome.