Limiting facts to limit discussion, peer-review, free energy

I notice that WtD has instituted a comment policy.  If I were to institute the policy about not posting anything but “facts”, I think that would pretty well eliminate all postings by advocates.  I am curious why when a blog admits only the “facts” it likes, I don’t hear cries of censorship (maybe I will in time).  Requiring commentors to use only approved journals, etc.  is very effective in removing anyone who questions ACC.   If I were to create a list of journals that were acceptable, I suspect there would be protests far and wide.  Why is it that shutting down opposing views on advocate sites is “common sense” and “adherence to facts”, but do the same thing on a questioner’s blog and the screams of “Censorship” can be heard coast to coast?  Limiting information sources should surely count as censorship, if anything does.  (Actually, censorship only applies to the government.  I use the term only because it is commonly used to describe not letting people say whatever they want.)

The policy is new.  Only time will tell if this is actually an attempt to limit the information presented in the comments section.  My guess is the term “non-science quote or website” will show up soon, thus eliminating all disagreement by moderation.  

Perhaps my allowing dissent is a mistake.  If the new normal is to limit information sources, I should not be accepting any information from journals tainted by “groupthink”, which pretty well wipes out climate science journals.  However, since I fully believe that science cannot survive without varying views, I have no intention of following WtD’s lead and banning any inconvenient “facts”.

Peer-reviewed articles:  Scientists who believe and work in climate change deciding which articles to publish in their professional journals.  One would be shocked if there was anything but consensus.  Would a pharmaceutical journal publish an article that said cholesterol was not related to heart attacks and the medication was a waste?   Of course not.  Peers don’t go against their self-interest.  If you want innovation and correction of false or bad theories, you cannot use peer review.

For those who disagree, tell what me you consider the odds that the pharmacy industry will announce  study which showed antidepressants do more harm that good and should be dropped as treatment (should such a study turn up in the future).  What if they were presented with three large, double-blind tests with results that were extremely significant?  What are the odds that a pharmaceutical journal would publish this study/studies?  I’m guessing about the same as peer-reviewed climate change journals publishing studies that show climate change is 99% natural and we can’t change the climate like we were told.

Free energy devices:  If these were real, the IPCC would demand that the UN have said devices put on the market and at a reasonable price, thus eliminating the need for using coal, NG and oil for heating and electricity.  So far, the IPCC has not included this mandate and climate scientists are not screaming out about the conspiracy to block free energy.  No government has moved to have free energy devices installed nationwide as a solution to climate change.  Probably because these are even bigger scams than ACC and much easier to prove false.

(I added this observation due to the huge number of emails I get daily about “free” energy.  I have to wonder how many people actually fall for these scams.  Apparently enough to make the scamming worthwhile, which is sad.) 

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3 comments on “Limiting facts to limit discussion, peer-review, free energy

  1. Skeptikal says:

    I was blocked from commenting over there a while ago, well before he announced his comment policy.

    WtD is proving itself to be just another activist site with little tolerance for dissenting comments.

  2. If you want answers to questions, ASK THEM ONE AT A TIME. Easy to get answers if you follow the rules.

    As for WtD and their NEW comment policy (which I cannot provide much evidence on since its NEW and I noted that:
    This is from the comment section:

    “Eric, I have already stated that I will not be replying to you because you are nothing but a pathetic troll and I urge my fellow commentators to take the same action. In this case I will make an exception as you have asked me a direct question but this is absolutely the last time.
Your idea of “scientific sources” is so far removed from the reality within the scientific community it does nothing but demonstrate just how ignorant you truly are. The unpublished ramblings of Anthony Watts, Steve McIntyre, Jo Nova, Bob Tisdale and their ilk are not scientific sources. They don’t even come close to scientific. Using their “analyses” of scientific papers as evidence that the paper is wrong brings nothing of value to any discussion. You could be much more productive by asking those clowns to subject their rebuttals to peer review and get them published in some journal somewhere. That is how science works in the real world. So it doesn’t come down to my approval but the approval of the scientific community.
On that, there have been occasions when commentators in here have actually presented peer reviewed papers as evidence to support the denial position. When it has been pointed out that they have either misunderstood or misrepresented the paper through cherrypicking, omission or quote mining, they have continued on with the incorrect position despite being shown to be wrong. This kind of wilful ignorance is childish beyond belief and has no place in adult discussions and should result in being banned.
Likewise, repeating the same garbage denier memes about flatlining temperatures or coming ice ages, or comparing climate scientists to eugenicists when all of have been debunked time and time again is counterproductive and trolling behaviour. For this alone, I would have the commentator banned from commenting, simply because it brings nothing new to the discussion and is designed simply to hijack the thread and waste the time of fellow commentators and others who may be reading.
Like Mike, I am all for freedom of speech and freedom of expression, but with these freedoms comes a certain responsibility to at least try and be productive and accurate. There are a number of commentators who don’t and are not even remotely interested in doing so. They continually offer unsubstantiated opinions that are a factually incorrect and refuse to acknowledge their mistake when it is pointed out to them. Like in the position where papers have been misrepresented, this behaviour is juvenile and has no place here. 
Mike’s dilemma is that he is very busy and has no moderators to police the comments. He has to rely on the good intentions of the commentators to do the right thing. Unfortunately there are a number who take advantage of this to troll.



    New commentor:
    ▪ Might I suggest that Erric’s comments be filtered and rejected if they contain reference to hockey sticks, climategate, flatlining temperatures or Watts.

    What I see is the reigning in of comments to exclude contrary opinions–by using only peer-reviewed literature and rejecting all others. Feel free to read through all the comments:
    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2013/05/06/reminder-community-and-discussion-guidelines/#comments
    The theme is: We don’t allow any data and sources we don’t like.
    Only time will tell if this becomes the actual policy. If I went the same direction, I would not allow peer-reviewed data because it’s cherry-picked, written by government paid scientists, has been shown to be debunked repeatedly on questioner’s blogs, etc. The problem is, with statistical analysis, there are no “facts”, just probabilities based on whatever data one chooses to use.

  3. Tony Duncan says:

    Not sure if you are letting me comment. I could not make sense of your last edit of my last comment, or your objection to what I wrote, but here is hoping you still allow dissent.

    Once again you are making assertions which in general may have some validity, but you offer absolutely NO concrete evidence to back it up regarding the specific of climate change.
    It is bizarre that you state that such a policy would eliminate all postings by advocates. You have yet to show me where any facts I have presented have been wrong, and certainly have had no success at finding mistakes in Glenn’s facts.
    I also find it odd that you make an assertion about WTD that is totally inaccurate and NOT based on reality, when it is so easy to go to his site and see what his comment policy ACTUALLY is. You point out the one point in his comment policy as copied below:
    “When making any claim (scientific or otherwise) provide references (links if possible) for others to evaluate your argument/s – repeated failure to do so may result in disciplinary action”.it is the 7th of 11 points he makes.

    This is what YOU wrote ” If I were to institute the policy about not posting anything but “facts”, I think that would pretty well eliminate all postings by advocates. I am curious why when a blog admits only the “facts” it likes, I don’t hear cries of censorship (maybe I will in time). Requiring commentors to use only approved journals, etc. is very effective in removing anyone who questions ACC.”

    You fail to mention that the OTHER points he makes which allow people to make any sort of argument they want. it is just when CLAIMING a fact, they are expected to provide SOME source. NOWHERE does it say what source that has to be, nor even that it come from a peer reviewed journal. There is nothing in this point that has any relevance to the rest of your post.
    You seem to be implying that it can be valuable in discussing an issue to allow people to claim absolutely anything they want without any substance to support it. Much of the debate around this issue revolves around facts, and the issue is so highly politicized that people on both sides make claims based on what they want to believe. Forcing people to have some verifiable source for their assertions makes actual rational discussion possible.

    Now if you can point out places where he has implemented this policy in biased ways that let advocates off the hook, and is artificially used against those with an agenda against ACC, then you have a valid issue. And, as I have said in other situations, I would support you in pointing that out.

    although the point of his I like the MOST is this one
    “When engaged in debate/discussion and a fellow poster (or the blog owner) asks you to clarify an argument or point please respond: it is not merely polite to respond to the question, but essential to keeping discussion on track”.
    This is your blog so of course you do not have to follow through on this, but it has been my main complaint in most of my discussions with you.

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