Just when I thought WUWT was getting dull. Well, it is dull at the moment, but Anthony brightened it up a little bit with another of his conspiracy theories (archived here). This time it's about Nick Stokes, who has an excellent blog called Moyhu.
[Update: I succumbed, because I figured some of you will go there anyway. Might as well offer you the archived copy to save you the trip. Sou.]
Nick Stokes is a very affable chap (and a retired CSIRO scientist IIRC) who comments from time to time at WUWT. Nick only rarely gets a bit annoyed with people, but I don't think I've ever seen him lose his cool in the way Anthony Watts and Wondering Willis Eschenbach are prone to do. I glossed over Anthony's mocking taunt because it was just another silly Josh cartoon. Then I decided to read the comments to see how Nick reacted.
Nick reacted with mild amusement in his usual polite fashion
This is how Nick reacted: Nick Stokes says:
March 3, 2014 at 11:36 am
Verity Jones says: March 3, 2014 at 11:06 am ” I hope he realises this is affectionate teasing.”
Thanks, Verity, yes I quite liked the cartoon. I’m used to being characterised as a Black Knight, so it’s a relief to just have a topological problem.
Sorry to be late to the threadjacking, but as Sherry has now figured, I think, I do live in the land where koalas grow, and it’s 6.30 am. As to being paid, well, I’m afraid Sherry’s “white male between 45 – 65 years old” is a little on the optimistic side. I’m enjoying my retirement.
Anthony Watts was accusatory and full of (wrong) conspiracy ideation
This is how Anthony Watts reacted:
Anthony Watts says:
March 3, 2014 at 7:50 am
@ _Jim I don’t think Nick craves attention, but, as I have observed before, given his tenacity to post hours of such bluster, I think he’s paid to do it. I could be wrong, but it’s either that, or he is terminally afflicted with XKCD disease.
And there's more. Dodgy Geezer says and Anthony replies:
March 3, 2014 at 8:01 am
As far as I can see, Nick is not dishonest. Misguided, maybe. And not a public figure. It seems a little unpleasant to run a cartoon on him.
REPLY: Up until the current CA thread, I would agree about the “not dishonest” part. But even Steve McIntyre called him that now, and Steve does not use such labels lightly. – Anthony
I expect Anthony's cracking an inside joke with his last sentence. Often Steve McIntyre just insinuates and lets other people use the "labels". However has no hesitation in suggesting scientists are 'dishonest' and their science a 'scam' and 'fake', especially when he hasn't the wit to work out their research.
And still more. M Courtney says - and see Anthony's reply:
March 3, 2014 at 8:16 am
It doiesn’t seem fair to mock someone because we disagree with him.
Nick Stokes doesn’t lie. Nick Stokes isn’t personally abusive. Nick Stokes doen’t deserve derision.
I do think Nick Stokes is wrong but I want to hear Nick Stokes so as my thoughts are challenged.
Mocking Nick Stokes as though he is Micahel Mann demeans Josh and elevates Mann.
REPLY: I would disagree, look at my early days of getting involved in climate debates. I was pretty much a nobody until I had an idea that ruffled some feathers, then I was labeled and derided in all sorts of ways within a week of posting the surfacestations project. Nick has elevated himself in the climate debate, he is well known by all the players. Not one person in the CA thread or here has said ‘who is Nick Stokes?”. When so many people are familiar with you across continents and venues, I think you’ve reached public persona status. William Connolley would be another example.
Nick is the most polite troll one could hope to encounter, but it makes me wonder if he isn’t paid to do what he does. If he wasn’t polite, and got into flame wars, he would long ago have been banned. Instead, he plods along with tenacity combined with obfuscation to diminish skeptic arguments that can go on for days in threads. Many people would lose patience and tell others to “sod off”, but if your paid position requires your presence to be effective, you’d do everything you could to stay within the rules.
I could be wrong, but that is why I think he is employed to comment on climate threads. Besides, this isn’t derision, it’s satire. Tying oneself up in knots is funny to watch.
I should add in Nick’s defense, he was the only person on the other side (that I am aware of) of the debate to contribute to Robert E. Phelan’s (our wonderful deceased moderator) funeral. – Anthony
Now if one were to speculate that Anthony's conjecture is based on his own knowledge and experience with those who are much more prolific than Nick is at WUWT, one would ask him how much Willis Eschenbach, Smokey, Janice Moore, Greg, ferdberple, Mark Bofill, Dodgy Geezer, M Courtney and all the other regulars get paid :D
Willis Eschenbach spits nastiness and feigns care for the "poor"
And if you thought that was bad enough, read what Wondering Willis Eschenbach has to say. Willis doesn't like it when Nick points out the holes in his articles. He doesn't even like it when Nick pays him a compliment. Willis doesn't like competition full stop. Especially not competition from someone who does know what he's talking about (unlike Willis).
Willis Eschenbach says, after quoting two people who said Nick was polite and honest and deserves some respect (extract):
March 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm
Nick is doing his best to push policies that he knows hurt, impoverish, and even kill the poor.
You can rub his tummy and blow in his ear all you want, you can say he deserves respect and we shouldn’t poke fun at him.
Me, I stand back, look at what his polite and “not dishonest” claims cost the poor of the world, and spit on him. He deserves no respect at ll, none. He’s doing his best to cast honest men as liars, and liars as honest men. For him, truth is immaterial, as long as he doesn’t have to admit that he is wrong. This is not innocent behavior. It’s not funny or cutesy. It is damaging and destructive.
For me, he’s playing games with his damn word fiddle while Rome burns. I don’t think he even believes many of the ideas he puts forward, and indeed, as you can see by the cartoon, in many cases there’s no way his ideas make coherent sense.
But the ideas he pushes and supports are still hurting, impoverishing, and killing the poor, and while the cartoon is funny, the end results of his actions are not humorous or entertaining in the slightest.