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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hypocrisy at Climate Clash

Although I will not normally make a policy of commenting on other blogs, in this case I will make an exception.

Until recently, I have been an active participant in the Climate Clash blog maintained Dr Ed Berry.  I had withdrawn from that site, in part because of the inconsistent moderation by Dr Berry which, in practise, gave open slather to opponents of AGW to insult both pro-AGW participants on the board, and noted defenders of AGW, both academic and in the blogosphere.

However, Dr Berry has now ramped up his perpetual attacks, in his role of adminstrator, upon Dr Eric Grimsrud.  Given the leniency (in fact, complete failure to comment upon) which he gave to direct and abusive insults of AGW proponents, both those involved in the discussion, and those who are not; this hypercritical approach do moderating Dr Grimsrud amounts to an absurd hypocrisy.

I posted a comment to that effect on Climate Clash, only to have it deleted.  In the interests of anyone interested in the Climate Clash debate, my post is reproduced below.  Let no one assume that Dr Grimsrud is being given a fair go on Climate Clash, for it is plainly not the case.

My deleted post was:

Hello again.
Apparently my indication that my previous post would be my last was innaccurate, but this one certainly will.  I feel it was necessary to make this post because of the self serving and hypocritical comments made by Dr Ed @257.  In it he accuses Dr Eric of behaviour that is "departing from normal professional conduct".
Dr Eric is a member of a group of people repeatedly refered to as "climatards" ,ie, "climate retards" by Al tekhasski.  That same group has also been repeatedly accused of data manipulation and fraud by other participants in this forum.  As a member of that group, Dr Eric has also been so accussed by simple logical inference.  I believe Al tekhasski has meant to insult every accepter of AGW by his epithet, so that all his opponents on this board can reasonably consider themselves to be directly insulted by him in straight forwardly abusuive language.  Of course, most of his opponents have had no need to consider themselves indirectly abused by Al tekhasski, for most have them have been directly abused by him, including myself and Dr Eric.
However, from Dr Ed's example <b>as administrator</b> we are to believe that Al tekhasski abusive commentary does not "depart form normal professional conduct", for it has drawn not a single rebuke from Dr Ed as administrator (or as participant); while Dr Eric's comments have repeatedly drawn rebukes.
Based on Dr Ed acts as administrator, we can determine that calling an AGW proponent a "climatard" is not in his opinion a personal attack, but if an AGW proponent should write:
<blockquote> " <strike>When doing basic research, how does one know what the practical uses that knowledge might be later be put to? Did the invention of the airplane precede or follow the work of Bernoulli in the 1730’s?</strike>"</blockquote>
<b>that</b> is considered a sufficiently henious personal attack that it must be deleted.
The evidence that Dr Ed has adminsitered this site in a biased manner intended to favour the case against AGW is overwhelming.  He has placed evidence thought to be contrary to AGW in posts so that they can always be easilly found, while more accurate evidence that rebuts it is allowed to languish in obscurity in the comments.  He has used his position as administrator to move comments by anti-AGW participants into prominence as posts, a privilege never granted to pro -AGW participants.  He has posted parts of his case while preserving them from "cross examination" for weeks, and potentialy months, while Dr Eric's posts were always subject to immediate  attack.  And he has turned a blind eye to repeated, and continual personal abuse by anti-AGW participants of pro-AGW participants while policing Dr Eric for "offences" which look very much like good nature banter in the face of continued personal abuse.  In other words, in every way possible, he has given his side of the argument administrative advantages denied to his opponent.  Saying that he has adminstered as though conducting a soviet style show trial is a fair comparison.
As previously indicated, I am no longer willing to discuss AGW with its opponents on this site.  That is in part because the biased administration by Dr Ed has made it unpleasant to do so by not preventing personal abuse from his side.  It is also because even the best of the anti-AGW participants (Dr Weinstein) is apparently so uncommitted to rational discourse that he throws up objections which are improbable, and contradict peer reviewed papers of which he is aware without even bothering to fact check his claims by so simple a procedure as googling.  (That fact contradicts Dr Weinsteins no doubt sincere self image as a truth seeker.) 
I am, however, still continuing to comment on the issues raised here.  Primarilly I am doing so on my new blog.  My initial posts on the blog critique Dr Ed's first witness for the defence (something currently forbidden on this site).  I am currently following up by critiquing George White's argument against AGW (Cyril and Leonard may be interested).  I welcome anyone who can restrict themselves to rational enquiry to comment at the blog.
Good bye

Dr Berry also deleted a post by Dr Grimsrud commenting on the deletion of my post.  Apparently Dr Berry is determined that no record of his abuse of process should be kept on his site.

Follow up: Immediately following the publication of this post, I contacted Dr Berry to advice him of its existence, and to offer him the chance to defend himself against my accusations.  I further offered him complete freedom from any censorship within terms of service.  He declined that offer, saying that my post was "crap" and that no doubt my site was "crap" also.  Since then he has advised readers on his site of the existence of my post.  At his first posting, that advice contained a (fairly mild) personal attack against me, which I note he has now removed.

In his responce to my offer, Dr Berry also claimed that Dr Grimsrud was the first person to start personal attacks on Climate Clash.  I consider that claim to be dubious, and in point of fact, false of the particular thread in which the issue arose.  (I have not perused the volumnous comments on that site to determine who was the first offender in each and every thread.)

Additional follow up: As noted by Dr Grimsrud in the post below, he has now been booted of Climate Clash, which should probably be renamed Climate Denial Colloquium as it has no active posters who support the position of mainstream science.  Hypocritical to the last, Dr Berry  has kicked Dr Grimsrud from the site for a variety of reasons, some real, some imagined, and all (IMO) irrelevant to the purpose of the site; while allowing deniers to suggest that Dr Grimsrud has genocidal aspirations, and wishes to kill of 6 billion of the planets population, starting with the deniers.  That, in Dr Berry's opinion, is not a personal attack, presumably because it is directed at an acceptor of main stream science on AGW.


  1. Tom,
    I also am bothered by attacks on Dr Eric. They are in part a reaction to the use of the phrase of denier, and some other claims he used on skeptics (such as they don't seem to care about their children and grandchildren as much as he does), but that is no excuse.

    I look forward to your analysis of George White's paper. I hope you look at his powerpoint also, as it is different than the pdf.

    I am sorry if my response on the NZ issue bothered you. I sometimes shoot off the cuff, and as you say, I don't always go into the literature as completely as you do. However I generally follow up later (when I have more time) and tend to correct myself later. Your detail and style are unusual, and I do highly respect it. I do think you see some issues from one side more than others, as we all do, but you make a large effort to be more complete. I have read the NZ issue more completely recently, and agree there was some misrepresentation shown by the skeptics, but am still not as sure the issue is fully settled as you seem to be.

  2. Hi Leonard, and welcome to Brisbane Waters.

    I agree with you that Dr Eric Grimsrud's comments about children and grandchildren were unacceptable. My compaint with Dr Ed Berry is not that he moderates personal attacks, but that he only moderates Dr Eric's personal attacks, even in the face of far more offensive and persistent personal attacks by, in particular, Al tekhasski, and also by Berthold Klein.

    I also have a problem with the draconian nature of the recent responce in which comments which were not personal attacks were characterized as such, and when even a mild (or erroniously percieved) personal attack was present, entire sections of text that were clearly not personal attacks were marked for deletion (and would now, presumably, be simply deleted).

    With regard to George White's paper, I only have the link to the html page linked in my post. If you have links to additional material that would help me better understand, or avoid misrepresenting his opinions, I would greatly appreciate them.

  3. The following is posted at the request of Dr Grimsrud:


    I have a clarification and then some advice to offer here at the onset of your interesting new web site –
    which I look forward to following.

    First, the clarification:

    In both comments 1 and 2 on your piece on Climate Clash, reference is made to an insult I reported
    directed at Leonard - see comment 1 where Leonard describes it and then look at comment 2 where
    my alleged insult becomes fact.

    Now let me show you the actual comment I had made on Climate Clash that caused Leonard to be
    offended. My comment was made after few day’s absence from Climate Clash while traveling to
    Minnesota to see my new granddaughter for the first time. That post read:

    “ I am now “climatized” to my new environment here in Minnesota, having spent most of the day
    playing with our 2-year old grandson and making eye contact with my 2-month old granddaughter. I am
    now taking a brief break from those delightful chores in order to get back to the most important thing I
    can do for them, i.e. “saving the planet” into which they were born, right?”

    I was obviously in high spirits at this moment but intended no ill will or insult to anyone.

    Now look again at what Leonard said in his comment #1 on this site. Need I say more.

    Now for my advice:

    In blogs, as in life in general, we hear so much about “being offended” and that claim has become a
    common component of argument. This claim also can serve as a mere distraction, however, and is often
    used as a refuge for those who might not be so confident in their case. It can be especially effective if
    the moderator of the debate buys into the claim of offense for whatever reason, including bias.

    You are fortunate, Tom, to already have a classic example of this on your new web site. In reading
    the numerous comments of Leonard on, he appears to be a sensitive and sincere
    guy and he possibly is. The problem I repeatedly had with him, however, is that he is so very skilled in
    the art of taking offense. In the example he and I have provided you with here, I think it is clear that

    Leonard took a statement I made that most would probably not consider to be offensive and decided to
    be offended by it. Then he embellished it some more (I did not compare my love for my grandchildren
    with anyone else’s love for theirs) so that even you assumed it was factual and agreed with Leonard that
    my statement was offensive. It is therefore not surprising that the administrator of Climate Clash was
    similarly and repeatedly taken in and did his best to “protect” Leonard from various “personal assaults”
    on him.

    Bottom line: I hope your promising new blog goes well and does not get blown up by mischievous
    claims – as Climateclash nearly did this week. Far too many discussions and debates are trashed by this
    PC invasion of them.

    Eric Grimsrud

    Web site:

  4. The saga at Climate Clash appears to have resolved itself. Howver, I am curious to see a recent post by Al Tekhasski has its final paragraph struck through, presumably in indication by Dr Berry that it is a personal attack. The only problem is, the offending paragraph is in no way a personal attack. The post Al Tekhasski critique's plainly does realy on a single layer model of the atmosphere to support its reasoning, and the single layer model is known to be inaccurate, to be unreliable for inference, and is only used for instructional purposes to explain basic concepts.

    It may be hard for the post's author to hear that, but it is none-the-less true.

  5. Tom,

    Upon inspecting, you will note that it was now taken another turn towards its self destruction. After being pressured to finally reveal your parting letter to climateclash (shown in your introductory coments here), its webmaster, Ed Berry, finally agreed to do that a few days ago. He was not at all happy to do so, however, because your letter effectively argued for leveling the playing field of that debate far more than Dr. Berry preferred. Therefore, today he also kicked me out of climateclash for another laundry list of alleged “crimes against climateclash” committed by me this time, rather than you. So, now without either you or me allowed on climateclash, Dr. Berry will be able to proceed with “discussions” of the climate clash between himself the other members of his “choir” without any “interruptions” of their tunes. Thus, it appears that the “Great Debate” as Dr. Berry used to call it, has now turned into some sort of ”Denier’s Songfest”, in which card-carrying members only will retain their voice.

    Because I believed in the benefit of having a forum for free and open discussions on the most important issue of our times, I am sorry that Climateclash was run in the manner it was and that its leader has now chosen to scuttle rather than repair it. Therefore, if you have any interest in filling this void as a part Bybrisbanewaters, I would be most interested in helping you do that in any way that I could. From the numerous comments you posted on climateclash, I know that you would run a forum which would be far more effective in sticking to the science involved and allow all views to be expressed and defended on a far more level playing field.