The Conversation has a new theme

Tell me what you think of it

The old theme was broken by the recent small changes to the site. I replaced it with one that works, though it’s not perfect and I’ll tweak it or find a better one.

I hope it works for everyone, but please tell me of any problems you find. Getting used to a new theme is rather like moving into a new house. It takes time and you find yourself turning towards the old kitchen for a while before the habitual movement is replaced.

Of course, just as you’re getting used to it, I’ll find the perfect theme and change it all again. I don’t know how to avoid that, sorry!

For those interested, the old theme was Freshy2 and this one is Twenty Fourteen Prana. Prana is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘breath’ or ‘life breath’. I hope it breathes new life through our conversations.

If you know something about WordPress themes, feel free to recommend one you like.

Bad state of the blog

Regrettably, the blog site is still broken, even after twice deleting all the WordPress installation files and uploading them again.

WordPress volunteers are still not replying to my request for assistance. It’s frustrating and I apologise to all my readers for the inconvenience.

Still, comments are still working, so at least you can tell me what’s going on. Continue Reading →

WordPress broken

Still working on fixing the site within the continued exigencies of domestic life. My continued apologies.

UPDATE 26 May 11:34 NZST

I’m in communication with Houston, sorry, I mean the WordPress forums, and I’m hopeful a solution is near.

UPDATE 26 May 16:09 NZST

Really frustrating that short posts are possible but not decently lengthy ones. Suspect it’s a scripting problem. Waiting on reply from support volunteers who I think are asleep.

Plug pulled on extraordinary site activity

I may never know what caused the outage, but much of the activity originated in China.

Checking on the blog late last night, my heart sank when I saw a notice in garish colours (that was bad, but it wasn’t the worst part) saying “This account has been suspended.”

Both my sites were down, along with the email. I imagined people around the world contemplating undeserved doubts about my ability to pay the bill.

Today, after webmail discussions with my hosting provider (they don’t accept telephone calls, but they are wonderfully inexpensive) and puzzling over my email settings, everything was running again.

The server software automatically suspended my sites (wordshine and fastproof) after the activity spiked to over 13 GB in just a few hours. The sites were moved to another server. What were they up to in China?

I’ll probably never find out, but I’m sorry for the disruption and it’s all back to normal. Thanks for your patience.


Well, my additional apologies!

After posting this piece explaining the outage, I went to read it online, as I usually do, just to make sure it worked properly. What further horror to discover that it and all the other posts gave a 404 Not found error!

The gremlin lay in the way WordPress codes its title links and fortunately was the work of moments to rectify, but I apologise to those who might have been frustrated all afternoon.

Well, back to the writing again!

Conversation threads soon to be gone

Speak now or forever hold your peace

At times we’ve had up to ten levels of nesting in our comments but at some point I reduced it to six levels. This means that when levels run out one must scroll upwards through many screens in order to find the beginning so one can click Reply.

I’m rather firmly inclined to remove the threading altogether, as in WUWT and other popular blogs. Continue Reading →

A robust conversation

Personal statement

My apologies are overdue

I’ve been absent without excuse for just over five weeks—unprecedented in over eight years of climate blogging—and it feels like a lifetime. It is surely rude not to let readers know what I’m up to.

My wife Ann and I are busy readying her late Aunt Rita’s property for sale. It is nearby and completely absorbing. In about another month or so, I’ll be free to spend some time on the Climate Conversation again.

It’s delightful indeed that the conversation continues so well without me. Continue Reading →

Climate denial undeniable, so no rest yet

After extended time off to cope with a family bereavement and its aftermath, let me present insights from someone else. Perspicacious and humorous, resigned yet adamant.
Yesterday, by email to a climate forum I subscribe to, a scientist posted penetrating comments on the state of climate change understanding. The comments are too good not to circulate, so, without revealing his identity (because I haven’t asked his permission), here they are. He was responding to a radio broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) by one Tony Eggleton.

Yes, I know, we all want to listen to yet another alarmist DAGW broadcast like we want to volunteer for washing-up duties.

But this one by retired geologist Tony Eggleton, of the Australian National University, broadcast on the ABC’s premier science programme Ockham’s Razor, is worth listening to from end to end in order to understand the immensity of the task of re-education that still lies ahead of us. Continue Reading →

The best way to post comments

Here’s a general question for everyone about how to make comments on comments.

When we “Reply” to a post, the first reply is displayed hard against the left-hand margin. The next reply is a little more to the right, or “nested”. The third reply is even further to the right, and so on. Eventually a limit is reached, or replies would have to be displayed in the width of a single character. WordPress defaults to 10 levels of nesting. After that, all replies are indented by the same distance, but you have to scroll up a long way sometimes to find the related Reply button.

Long ago I reduced the number of “Replies” possible from 10 to 6.

A maximum of six replies is inadequate, but so is ten. I lean strongly towards reducing it to zero, putting all comments at the same level and removing the problem entirely. But it would introduce a new problem, of identifying in a possibly long thread the comment we are responding to. We would have to somewhat carefully specify the “NAME at DATE at TIME” we’re answering and that would be a new discipline for us.

Would that be all right?

Any suggestions?

Housekeeping: can we control the conversation?

Huub Bakker admonished us, saying:

Guys,

Much as Brandoch may throw unsubstantiated statements and ad hominems around, the responses are also laden with ad hominem attacks. This hardly does anyone on this website any favours.

Richard Treadgold, I see that you slapped Brandoch over the knuckles for calling people liars but then didn’t do the same when Richard C accused Brandoch of lying. [although Richard C made the point that his "accusation" was merely a spoof of what Brandoch had said, it's a fair point that I rarely admonish "friends" - RT]

I enjoy reading a good discussion of the facts and putting people in their place using facts and references but we really could do without the abuse from both sides. Please enforce politeness and respect on both sides, Richard. People coming to this site to be informed would be horrified with the slanging that is currently going on here and might conclude that sceptics are no better than alarmists.

I agree with him. But with one enormous caveat: I have no wish to rule the world. One reason there are no “Rules of conduct” posted here is to avoid adding to the rules we already endure. Courtesy is enough. Continue Reading →

Climate Conversation traffic sets records

Thank you to all our visitors – both voluble and silent – for making this small corner of the free blogoverse a forum both informative and influential.

I just checked last month’s Climate Conversation web traffic figures out of cPanel and I’m mightily pleased. All metrics show record high figures. This is only for the CC sub-domain of WordShine (I really must shift it to climateconversation.org.nz, huh?). Here is the cPanel graph with October highlighted:

CCG traffic summary for October 2012

The release of the judge’s decision and the recently-filed costs arguments are obvious sources of increased interest. But there have been some notable threads of conversation on climate science which have pitted determined warmists against equally tenacious sceptics. Continue Reading →

Ava is very cute

It was Ava’s birthday yesterday (she’s one year old). There is a party tonight at Diana’s place. Afterwards some of us – probably not including Ava – will watch the Super Rugby 14 final.

Go the Chiefs!

I’ll see you tomorrow some time.

UPDATE: Some time tomorrow today

How were you to know that Ava is alleged to be my grand-daughter, one of an alleged six such lucky children. It was great to be hosted so well at our daughter Diana’s place in Pakuranga, with her fiance Carl, and staying overnight let me imbibe an extra glass of wine and tankard of ale while watching the climax of the Super Rugby competition.

And it was of course terrific to celebrate Ava’s birthday – go the Chiefs!

To prove beyond doubt Ava’s extremely high cuteness factor, here’s one of the pics I clicked yesterday.

Ava's first birthday party

With friends like these we need no enemies

John O’Sullivan expressed interest in our court project against NIWA. But some of his comments describe more hope than fact, possibly through a misunderstanding of NZ law and the nature of our court case, and perhaps my inadequate reporting has contributed to that.

This morning my inbox was filling up with requests to explain and I could sense some people becoming distinctly over-stimulated by the imaginary achievements of the brave Kiwi sceptics.

The problem is that the judge hasn’t even made his decision, which my recent posts have made clear. We run a distinct risk of contempt of court if we appear to endorse the wild claims about the state of the case, of legal moves, even of victory, that are beginning to sound around the world.

It’s a shame, for the case contains enough of genuine merit; it can do without being overshadowed by needless exaggeration.

In an attempt to calm emotions, I’ve left a comment at John’s blog Continue Reading →

Climate Conversation v. Hot Topic et al.

Alexa world-wide rankings

I bow to you, my reader.

As measured informally on my Alexa toolbar, you’ve raised this humble blog into a leading Kiwi site for sceptical discussion of global warming. Though many of you are silent and your participation limited to quiet reading, you’ve achieved a remarkable thing with your frequent loyal visits (I’ll be sure to keep the kettle hot).

It shows that north of sixty thousand visitors per month prefer a moderate tone over stridency and a restrained view of climate data better than a doomsday clamour. Large numbers! MSM, are you noticing?

In June last year there was a bit of a fuss over climate blog rankings and whether the numbers were reliable. Nothing to do with climate, of course.

Then a while back I reinstalled the Alexa toolbar, just out of interest. Apparently you have to give Alexa time to get settled information on your traffic, so I waited. Just now I noticed our world ranking is up to 844,719, having started at over 1.3 million. The NZ rank is under 900. Wow! So it’s time to tell you. Continue Reading →

Warmth ≠ warming

In my previous post I said that, since the temperature hasn’t gone up (much) in about 15 years, nothing has happened as a result – in short, global warming hasn’t caused anything, harmful or otherwise.

That short chain of reasoning seemed justified by the observed and documented lack of significant warming of the near-surface atmosphere around the globe during the last 15 years, and I thought the logic unassailable.

The above link shows the HadCRUT3 record, but you’ll see a very similar trajectory with the GISTEMP dataset, UAH, RSS or NCDC. All of these records show that, from about 1997, there’s been precious little warming or cooling and that the global monthly mean temperature anomaly has, in the last six months or less, steeply descended through exactly the same band through which it rose in 1997.

To repeat: because global warming hasn’t occurred for about 15 years, global warming hasn’t caused anything else to occur in that time. Very simple. Continue Reading →

I’ve been busy

Business commitments have kept me from covering any climate topics for a while, but I plan to post an article or two at the weekend. There’s a paper on clouds by two Auckland researchers that has come to my attention and I may have time for further items.

So, my apologies, but I haven’t stopped either being interested in climate matters or spending time reading and writing about them. There’s a lot happening and some people have been quite excited at the extra realistic (sceptical) coverage of global warming.

I avoid getting excited because the great carbon-based wheel is now turning at a fair clip and will take a power of stopping. That’s no reason to slacken our efforts, but is a reason to raise the gaze to a slightly more distant finish line.

Laking recycles dishonesty

It’s one thing to be misunderstood, quite another to be repeatedly misquoted.

A misunderstanding can be a mere message muddle – happens all the time – and mistakenly misquoting is minor misconduct.

But continuing to misquote someone after being told what they actually said is unforgivable. Crafting your assertions to your own ends rather than to the truth is detestable.

Children make no bones about it. They call it lying and they hate it. Continue Reading →

Laking, liking words, lacking in science

It’s not possible even to keep track of the alarmist stories about climate, far less to refute them all. But when one is personally cited close to home and statements are wrongfully attributed to one, one ought to address them. This Laking/Herald howler is a case in point. Laking has taken his information from the Hot Topic side of the tracks without verification, not knowing the distortions of Renowden and friends (no matter how often corrected) and must now suffer the consequences; the formerly revered Herald similarly. My good friend Barry Brill here humorously draws our attention to the doctor’s faux pas. Regular readers will know that Richard C and Andy already mentioned the Herald article in comments on our Brash post. Thanks, guys. Apologies – one is only just getting around to it – but a refuting post will follow this. – RT

The NZ Herald runs climate alarm propaganda in every shape and size, and from every imaginable point of view. But it was scraping the barrel with its recent patronising but content-free sermon from a certain George Laking – presented on its weather page under the heading of “Epsom and climate change”.

Laking is apparently an oncologist. He transparently knows nothing whatever of meteorology, and even less about economics – and therefore relies upon a quote from an IEA economist to define the state of the science. He then buttresses his scientific bombast with other strongly-held opinions from non-scientists – the World Bank, UK Ministry of Defence, the Medical Association, and the World Health Organisation.

Each one of his sources has heard a real scientist say something, somewhere, about climate science. And they are almost sure they can remember part of what was said. But, says George, global warming isn’t about science anyhow, it’s about MORALITY!

If you want to know how morality works, ask a cancer doctor. George has seen what tobacco sellers got up to and he wouldn’t be a bit surprised if climate sellers weren’t just as bad.

And it turns out George’s medical training also left him well-versed in the need to manipulate raw data to get the result you are after. He says:

“If you take the raw temperature recordings alone (like ACT or… Richard Treadgold did), you won’t see a temperature rise. But that is because the readings have to be corrected for changes in site location, exposure, and instrumentation. Treadgold overlooked this and so ACT constructed a whole court case on the most abysmal scientific howler.”

Hmm. George obviously doesn’t read very much in pursuit of his climate hobby. He certainly doesn’t express any methodological preferences as between Salinger (1981) and RS93; or even NIWA’s 2010 review versus the audit published by the NZ Climate Science Coalition. He doesn’t even differentiate between the old 7SS and the NZT7.

Poor George seems to think Richard Treadgold is helping ACT to sue somebody in Epsom. Perhaps the teacup taper?

Does the Herald read these Op-Eds before publication, or is a burning zeal to hurl abuse at non-believers seen to be a sufficient qualification?

Personal update

I’ve been sick in bed for the week with a watery head cold. My wife took very good care of me while trying to keep her distance — nasty and painfully spluttery, it was. Much sleeping, reading and eating went on, all in bed, some of it at the same time.

I’m still not fit for polite company but I’m now catching up with work and trying to catch up with this writing. There’s so much to say, and I still like to pass on some current stories to help keep readers informed, such as today’s on black carbon.

I hope you visit other sites, too, just as I do, but putting stories here gives us an opportunity to converse about them and inform local communities. And somebody has to mention the latest sceptical climate news, since the MSM aren’t doing it, are they?!

Thing is, I just cannot cover them all, so I’m sorry if I left something out or haven’t touched on your favourite topic lately, but I’ll get round to it. Drop me a line, if you like, to remind me or to make a suggestion.

There are some things I want to say about NIWA, our legal case and the abortion that is their latest temperature record.

I hope all this will be accomplished soon, with your help and patience.

Cheers,
Richard T.

Ooh! Real blog wars

Hah! Gareth’s upset about the Alexa rankings I’ve started publishing in the sidebar.

He gets going in a scholarly way and lengthily, but listen:

Treadgold’s Climate Conversation blog ranks at around 500,000. By way of comparison, David Farrar’s Kiwiblog.co.nz is ranked #68,226 in the world (#88 in NZ). Climate Conversation is so far down in Alexa’s long tail that the Alexa rank Treadgold is keen to trumpet is effectively meaningless.

What he fails to mention is that we’re not so far down Alexa’s long tail as he is. Where is Hot Topic ranked by Alexa? Anywhere meaningful? Continue Reading →

NZ blog rankings

Alexa rulz!

Just a quick note to draw your attention to a new feature on the sidebar: scroll down one page and you should see it. There’s a little table showing the recent Alexa rankings for the Climate Conversation, SciBlogs and Hot Topic. At the moment we’re leading them by big margins.

It’s not automated, just a table I’ll fill in when I remember.

My wife and son just accused me of boasting, and I suppose to some degree I am boasting. However, it’s humbling to see that this modest little blog is more popular and thousands more people visit it than other, brasher sites around the country that even get into the newspapers.

I’m content to boast a little if it means that more ordinary Kiwis hear about us and get the opportunity to participate in a calm, polite and informative conversation about “the biggest challenge facing humanity today.”

This is a bit of bragging I won’t apologise for and the mainstream media can go hang. Notice we’ve just gone under 1000, which means we’re one of the thousand most popular sites in the country. Course, it could change tomorrow!

Off-line again, sorry

The doctors wanted to give me a life-saving procedure in the hospital tomorrow (Monday) and I decided to let them. Hope to be home again on Tuesday.

Please don’t worry, I’ll be fine — I’ve done this before. I think the surgeons have, too.

UPDATE 14 JUNE

I’m back with more health than before.

The kind thoughts you wrote here gently overspoke my fears of what could be and my heart lightened.

You didn’t have to do that — thank you.

Praise for CCG from Jo Nova

Jo Nova

I want to pass on some kind words from Joanne Nova for our blog and our campaign for truth in climate science.

A few days ago I was catching up with Jo’s site and I was blown away (again!) by the number and quality of her posts. I told her so, and said she’s like the Energiser bunny!

After noting we were missing from her site’s blog roll, I asked her to include us. She swiftly acceded to my request, saying:

Done. Sorry you had to ask.
There’s no real reason it wasn’t done before except that I pay little attention to blog rolls. Thanks for pointing out the omission! You are doing a masterful job of NIWA. It’s inspiring…

Cheers!

Nice lady! Great climate warrior! Read her posts!

Happy Easter break

I’ll be out of town over Easter, visiting the latest grandchild who is to be christened. I expect to be back to the computer on Tuesday night, but don’t expect much out of me until later in the week. If anything crops up, feel free to use this “Easter” thread or use the famous Open threads set up by Richard C.

Good luck to you all.

Richard Treadgold.

Figures he doesn’t believe

CCG site traffic figures

Analyse this!

Perhaps I bang these traffic figures into this post like slamming a report onto the desk.

Just hear the satisfying report!

After firmly refusing and being advised to refuse, I grudgingly present the traffic figures for the first seven days of this month. They apply, as the screen dumps make clear, only to the subdomain ‘climateconversation’, not to the whole ‘wordshine’ domain.

Ken will get no more than this from me. I do this only to remove the bad taste that lingers in my mouth after being accused of lying by a man whose admitted aim is quarrel, dissent and discord. That’s what you told me, Ken, isn’t it?

Who knows what innocent visitor might have that unsubstantiated slur stick? Where might it again surface? Better to strangle it at birth — and strangle it with the truth. Better many things had such short lives. Pity more don’t.

What the figures mean, I don’t know. If there are deficiencies in them, point them out, argue about them. I prefer to spend my time fighting climate ignorance and spreading climate facts.

But in this thread, at least, these inane hostilities will not be off topic.

CCG site traffic figures

Christmas blessings for everyone

Christmas tree

An enduring symbol of joyful abundance.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone. May this season bring vitality and refreshment to you for whatever lies ahead.

Thank you for your support over the last 12-month; you have driven the traffic figures for the CCG site, depending on the measure, from 400% to 600% higher than a year ago.

That’s astonishing growth, and tells me we’re doing something right.

I look forward to continuing the battle after the holidays.

So keep your eyes open; look out for those around you; persevere.

For those unfortunates in deep and unexpected winter conditions on the top half of the world, our sympathies; however, entering our summer holidays as we are, we see no reason not to make fun of it:

At WUWT, on December 20, Robert M commented:

Look people, you have to understand that the temps outside your front doors are simply raw data, and will not be accurate until adjusted and homogenised. Next summer, after everyone forgets how cold it is, the Met will discover some heat that ya’ll are missing now and it will turn out that this winter is not nearly as cold as you are experiencing…

So there is hope!

WordPress upgrade

A hard disk drive

Please be patient

The blog must be upgraded to WordPress 3.0.2. This should take just a few minutes, but who knows? It must be done, and the time is now.

If things stop working, please be patient; I’m aware of it.

Thank you. See you all again shortly.

Starting at 16:53 NZT.

Richard Treadgold

UPDATE 17:36 NZT

Took longer than I hoped, but it seems to have worked. Please let me know if you notice any shortcomings, thanks.

I still can’t do automatic upgrades because my file permissions are incorrect. One day soon I’ll replace the lost widgets from the sidebar (I miss the oil prices).

Open threads as promised

UPDATE 1

Sat 16 Oct 2010 10:20

I’ve returned to the familiar CCG style for now. Since the new style wasn’t giving us everything we wanted, there was no point in leaving it there. As I look around the Internet I see little that I like; finding a good blog theme is not proving easy. If anyone wants to give links to excellent themes, I’d be grateful. – Richard T

Open threads have been put up today, as requested by several very active members of our Conversation. They’re accessible from the menu bar (look for Open threads) and the sidebar on the right. I guess I should start to move relevant comments from the “Housekeeping” post to the new topics.

The record number of comments previously was 68 recorded on “Observations on NIWA’s Statement of Defence” but now the record is up to 138 143 161 recorded on “World of sceptical questions unfolds…“. Rodney take note: see what you started? (thanks again)

Housekeeping

I’ve activated a new theme, called Blocks2. No, BLOCKS2!! It gives comment numbers, which makes it really easy to refer to the comment you’re responding to, plus it allows threaded comments, letting you reply to a particular comment, indenting as it goes.

Let’s see how it works for a few days; let me know when something seems broken. I’m keen to make things easier, not more difficult!

Now we can refer directly to comment numbers, which are consistent and unchanging within a thread.

Let me know of problems.

— Richard T

Sorry the site went down

hard disk drive

I’m sorry if you couldn’t reach our site today (Friday). A technical glitch has been resolved and we’re up and running again. Some comments have been delayed but not, I think, lost. If your comments don’t appear, please post them again.

Thanks,
Richard.

WordPress upgrade — sorry

Hard disk

UPDATE 3: Tue 12 Jan 2010 4:15 pm

It’s been four days without the blog

On Friday afternoon I asked for technical help from my web hosting provider. Something went wrong when they moved the site to a new server. While I was waiting for them to fix it, I formed a desire to install a second copy of WordPress as a test bed. I thought: what could possibly go wrong?

The minute I created the second database, the first one stopped working, meaning nobody, myself included, could access the Climate Conversation Group blog.

However, it turned out that there was no connection between the two events; they just coincided.

It’s very frustrating not having the blog available. The traffic logs show that a lot of people visit here every day, so I’m sorry about the lack of service.

Feel free to leave any comments, questions or complaints below.

UPDATE 2: Fri 8 Jan 2010 1:30 pm

Well, the upgrade still hasn’t happened, but the whole site is now on a server with the latest software that WordPress requires, hurrah! My thanks to the technical support staff at The Kiwi Web Hosting Company in Wellington for their help.

After the nameservers have replicated the new details I’ll do the WordPress upgrade. Boring, really, isn’t it? Computers have nothing to do with the subject, yet without them we’d wait weeks to hear each others’ messages, so it’s sensible to take care of them.

UPDATE 1: Thu 7 Jan 2010 10:28 am

Continue Reading →