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back to article Guardian super-blogger flames Reg boffinry desk

Globally popular Guardian science correspondent Martin Robbins has initiated a public flame war with the Reg. This is our response. Earlier today, under the page title "The Register misrepresents climate science", the Guardian ran this piece by Robbins, who blogs for the Graun under the title "The Lay Scientist" and who recently …

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Anonymous Coward

Oi ROBBINS!

I've got your comment right here...

"WWWWWWWANKER!"

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Coffee/keyboard

@ Spooky person

Thanks - my thoughts exactly and I desperately needed a good chuckle today.

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LOL

Can almost here you :)

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4x4

So just for the sake of clarity, is it or isn't it ok to buy a massive 4x4 for the school run now?

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Anonymous Coward

Ittiz

if you get a REALLY BIG one, to put the current one in, so you can take it on the school run safely, because WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE 4X4's!??~#

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So if you at reg agree with the article....

"Over the three-year study period, the observed variations in the solar spectrum have caused roughly as much warming of Earth's surface as have increases in carbon dioxide emissions, says Haigh."

Then you finally agree that carbon dioxide emissions are causing some, if not all, of the global warming?? After all it says "as much as" not "instead of".

On a general note I do find this picking and choosing research that fits with your view of global warming a bit silly. I generally like reading El Reg but if there is one thing that puts me off its the climate change denial of a number of the regular hacks...

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Megaphone

One Rule for All

Well, I think this quote from the response pretty much sums up whether "El Reg" believes that carbon dioxide emissions have an effect: "We've got no argument with the idea that CO2 in an atmosphere has a greenhouse effect: that's just a fact. "

Having said that, I think you've highlighted a serious problem at this publication. I've read enough articles on this site to see that the various reporters have (and are even sometimes allowed to express) different opinions on issues like this.

Furthermore, most (if not all) of their opinions have the annoying trait of not simply being "yes" or "no", but carry that hallmark of activist journalism: unchecked analysis. How dare they ask questions and demand "explanations" and "figures"? The editors of this site need to clearly identify to their hacks which boffins are correct, and rein in their wild, logical speculation.

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Badgers

Er...

Surely picking and choosing research that fits with the "required" view of global *climate change* is exactly what everyone else (i.e. Le Graun et al.) is doing too?

Personally I don't know what to think about climate science (I do know one thing - humankind is very busy shitting where it eats right now, and that's down to overpopulation) but to criticise the Reg for bias, when 99.9% of everything you will ever read anywhere about climate change right now is biased, seems more than a little disingenuous.

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Climate change dogma.

"Then you finally agree that carbon dioxide emissions are causing some, if not all, of the global warming?? After all it says "as much as" not "instead of"."

Why do the dogmatic always confuse a healthy scepticism over the contradictory evidence with climate change denial?

I guess it's the "if you're not with us you must be against us" stupidity so readily shoved down our throats by politicians and tabloids.

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Re: Climate Change Dogma

The problem is that it's not a healthy scepticism. Healthy scepticism would be questioning the evidence then coming to conclusions based on that evidence, in the case of El Reg the general view has been to cherry-pick its stories to frame climate change science in a negative light. Also, while science never proves anything, there are points where it's sensible to accept the generally held consensus in view of overwhelming evidence, the theory of gravitation for one. Scepticism tells us that the theory isn't complete, but it does describe our observations. There is a tonne of bias on here towards the anti side of things, and as such there's a far larger number of stories that suggest an anti stance than there are which report on findings for the pro stance (something that's completely the reverse of the balance of publications). Further to that it seems quite ok to make appeals to authority like the one in this article, while using derisive language against people who they don't agree with (although boffin isn't one of those words). It's a shame because a lot of the reporting is very good, and they have some very good writers. It seems that there's a decent portion of readers who agree with the first poster as well given the upvotes.

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Happy

What about climate change Dogpas too?

"Why do the dogmatic always confuse a healthy scepticism over the contradictory evidence with climate change denial?"

Perhaps because it is a debate conducted largely on the back of personal attacks and creating/inventing personal stakes (e.g., who watches the watchperson's wages?). Still its always a good sign for the comments when an appeal is made for healthy scepticism; I may get a chuckle and some interesting points as I wade through the froth and bile.

[Pinches nose shut and dive bombs on in]

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Where's the proof?

All 'global warming' *whoops* 'global climate change *whoops* global climate disruption is predicated on computer models that, using historical data, can not accurately represent current conditions. It's a scientific fraud dependent on gullible fools with no more knowledge of science than my cat; that the terms invented to 'describe' the phenomenon keep changing is an indicator of the underlying deception.

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Happy

Dust!

I'm a global warming skeptic because I never see the impact of dust being discussed. Lots of dust comes from burning oil for heat and power, especially if its done inefficiently. Dust falls out of the atmosphere quickly. Since we're certainly running out of "free oil", I expect the dust impact to be negligible within 10 years. Open and Shut, as they say...

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Boffin

Dust

Dust, soot and smoke have a slight cooling effect, IIRC. As people stop burning 'dirty' fuels (such as peat and coal), this will reduce, at which point we are even more screwed, as the warming effect of greenhouse gases becomes more apparent. Well, apparent to everyone except Lewis.

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Water Vapour?

What about water vapour? I expect there's a lot more of that in our atmosphere than CO2.

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Anonymous Coward

I wouldn't be so sure...

Listen to Nebulous, S01E03, for further details.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00b94wn

Remember - they wouldn't let it on the radio if it wasn't true.

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FAIL

Big joke.

Maybe the paper can stop trying to scare people and look at both sides of the rock.

these scare stories are getting pathetic.

Global Warming? Seems frickin' cold to be honest.

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Whats more pathetic?

The paper not allowing two sides of a story, or the paper publicly slating The Reg for doing nothing but reporting and quoting boffins?

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Hear hear!

Publish the facts and let the truth fall where it may.

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Facts?

That's the whole problem. Apparently we wouldn't understand the facts so they 'fake' them. Given that the available information on AGW always appears so biased it's no wonder that there is no common consensus.

Anyway, the 'facts' always fall where the politicians (lobby groups, self interested QUANGOS, Big green Co's , etc...) want them too. The only real fact is that we are pouring (wasting in my opinion) billions into something we have very little understanding of.

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Anonymous Coward

Poor choice of title?

The article may have been accurate and unbiased - I didn't read it, so I don't know. But I do remember reading the title, and taking it as meaning that the sun was the main factor in global warming. I assumed 'recent years' might mean the last 30 or so.

In other words, the title of the article gave me the impression that it was a heavily biased "it's all just the sun after all' article, which is why I didn't bother reading it (I don't read the doom-mongering green propaganda either, or any other extremist crap). If other people took it the same way, no wonder it didn't go down too well.

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Happy

poor choice of comment title...

you comment may have been pertinent and unbiased, I haven't read it so I don't know. But I did look at the title of your comment and took it to mean that you had read the article and agreed with the gruniads criticism of it.

In other words, I'm just a bit bored so thought I'd comment on something I know nothing about!

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Initiated a flame war?

Smoke, meet fire...

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Perhaps...

But all in all Robbins still seems to come off as an arrogant, self-important twat with absolutely no formal training. Looks to me like he's doing more lobbying than actual reporting.

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heh

"Robbins still seems to come off as an arrogant, self-important twat with absolutely no formal training"

Well, he does work for the Graun, so what do you expect?

There is no paper finer for patronising the "little people".

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WTF?

Glass houses, stones

After having a look at some of the other twaddle this chap's written, I would respectfully suggest that if he gets in touch again, you politely ask him to describe the back of his teeth.

Because his head's so far up his arse that he can see for himself.

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Shocking

Journoes from 2 different publications not liking each others work. What has the world come to?

Point 1) Martin Robbins needs to remove his head from his bottom

Point 2) Please don't make claims about not caring what someone else thinks after writing them a long response, it's embarrassing

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On the contrary

The response was first a step by step debunking of the drivel that Robbins posted, before delivering the final fuck-off punch.

I found it great.

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Flame

That bloke...

The one who looked a bit like John Craven. You know? The one in charge of that America country. Who was that again? Bill Something. It was such a long time ago - two thousand and something, perhaps - or even earlier than that.

If you're going to use the term "recent" to describe something which was at most six years ago, and then apply it to things that have been around "forever" in human history, the changes in which are most contentiously discussed in relation to the last couple of centuries, then you really deserve a flaming from boffins of all kinds. Even if the article balances out or even contradicts the headline, it looks like click-bait at best, which is fair enough if you're dealing with the latest soap opera in Apple's complaints department, but isn't very nice when you're playing around with someone's hard (and frequently life-long) work.

But back to that bloke. After all, if "recent" is just pandering to the readership's obviously deficient capability to reflect over longer than the last few shiny years, we can't remember who he is now. Strange, then, that people keep harping on about his sidekick, Al Gore, like he's personally taken a dump on the bonnet of their BMW.

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Flame

Sir

I arrested a chap just the other weeking for taking a shit on the bonnet of my Merc, not BMW, and he swore his name was Al Gore (at least he swore). Typical journalistic standards there Mr AC.

Anyway, have you ever looked at the top of El Reg's web page? You know, the RED bit, at the TOP, I rest my case.

And may I state, for myself at least, that the word boffin has entirely positive connotations regarding the intellectual capacity of the recipient, though possibly not so positive in the personal relationship and tie choice front.

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See what the boys in the back room will have...

And long may the boffins continue.

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Boffin

omg, we're all gonna die

Actually, "Beaker" (as in Muppet) is much more likely to wind up scientists than "Boffin".... (I speak from experience)

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The title "Boffin" considered to be negative?

As a guy who has had the title "Boffin at Large" on his business cards (they wouldn't let me use my preferred "Chief Cook & Bottle Washer" at Bigger Blue), I kinda suspect that anyone who dislikes the term can and should be summarily ignored.

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Random use of CAPITALS

You missed pointing out that tabloids don't use capitals randomly either. They use them to put emphasis on certain words indicating some concious effort to use them in particular places rather than randomly.

If TheY usEd thEm randomly thEIr arTicLes WouLd loOk somethinG like THis.

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Alien

amanfrommars

Indeed. This poor Martin Robbins chap (or, a fat, glare-y John Barrowman?) will probably implode if he ever reads a comment by amanfrommars in that case!

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Alien

Where is he anyway.

I've missed him.

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Anonymous Coward

That's a bit rich

I can't help but smile at the irony of a Grauniad hack criticising someone else's spelling and typesetting

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Coat

@Peter Gathercole

Who, John Barrowman? Not sure but I'm sure he'll be solving a problem like Maria or some other claptrap soon.

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It's an old joke I know

...and the oldies are the best. But I think you'll find that since they, along with the rest of Fleet Street went with digital typesetting that their spelling is no worse than the others'.

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@AC re: @Me. Yes, I know. Bad me.

Since being able to directly reply to a comment, I have developed a bad habit of assuming that it will be obvious what I'm replying to. But this is not a threaded forum (thank goodness) so this is not always clear. This is not the first time this has happened, and I'm annoyed with myself for it.

I meant amanfrommars, of course. I may be reading the wrong comment trails, of course, but I don't think I've seen a comment by him for several weeks.

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Anonymous Coward

So who fancies going over there and sorting him out

Through the comments section of the article of course.

Personally I see no problem with the word boffin which has positive conotations in terms of British ingenuity etc.

But if I want to check that, or opinions on global warming reporting out I'll go and read the "Bad Science" articles and website.

What Robbins ought to watch out for is language with negative conotations for his "profession" - "hack", "scribbler", "journo", "Guardian blogger".

On a more personal note, that's a terrible picture they've got of him, and he can't spell "labelled"

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Bravo Team Reg.

That is all.

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Personally

..as someone who is a member of a team that The Register has accused of being "boffins" in the past, I hate the term. It is redolant of all the laddish, lager-swilling intellectually crippled twatbasketry of The Sun, or Inquirer's Nick Farrell. Do not want. Better nouns are available.

Anon, for obvious reasons.

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Anonymous Coward

@Personally

Thats the big advantage to nicknames, you don't get to choose them you just have to lump it.

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Happy

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Nice response!

I like it down here at the "random-USE-of-CAPITALS end of tabloid journalism".

The articles make more sense than anything I ever read in the Guardian, and generally contain a more balanced view... as well as putting a smile on my face

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Anonymous Coward

To secretary:

RE: Robbins

File under baseless twoddle

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more please?

Can we have a flame war section... maybe set up some journalist vs blogger boxing matches?

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Heart

seconded.

(or nth'd depending on how the moderation queue is looking)

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Happy

*Handbags*

Ooooohhhhhh

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FAIL

this, from the rag that gave you, ONLY YESTERDAY:

The HOT news that the latest version of Windows Mobile would at last have a touchscreen, and apps.

Don't go contradicting them, now!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/oct/11/windows-phone-7-microsoft

Guardian readers untie! FWT!!!!!

OLL!

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